Manila Water Foundation, Inc.

2019

Asia's Community Care Company of the Year

Manila Water Foundation, Inc.

Asia's Community Care Company of the Year

2019

WORDS FROM THE JURY PANEL

Manila Water Foundation goes beyond being a good corporate citizen. It has designed many opportunities for its employees to nurture the spirit of good citizenhood by journeying with underprivileged and under-served communities. It truly lives up to its vision of becoming the enabler of change for the poorest of the poor through sustainable access to water and used water services.

Words from the winner

Manila Water Foundation

Enablers of Change

The Manila Water Foundation’s service to the under-served.

Manila Water Foundation (MWF) is the social development arm of the Manila Water enterprise. Extending its water and sanitation expertise to marginalized communities beyond its concession areas, the company established the foundation in 2005 as part of its sustainability initiative. After a decade of service, the foundation emerged as a stand-alone, non-profit organization that champions water access, sanitation and hygiene education (WASH) for waterless and toilet-less communities in the Philippines.
To contribute to the global development agenda, the foundation anchors its advocacy to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). It uses a participatory, responsive, and holistic approach in supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Its sustainability values are also anchored to Manila Water enterprise’s five-pillared sustainability framework which stresses on the development of its employees, the building up of communities, the protection of the environment, the safeguarding of health and safety, and contributing to local and national economies.
To contribute to the global development agenda, the foundation anchors its advocacy to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). It uses a participatory, responsive, and holistic approach in supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Its sustainability values are also anchored to Manila Water enterprise’s five-pillared sustainability framework which stresses on the development of its employees, the building up of communities, the protection of the environment, the safeguarding of health and safety, and contributing to local and national economies.
To engage stakeholders MWF encourages participation in the L.O.V.E (Learn, Offer, Volunteer, Engage) MWF Annual Roadshow, where employees can engage with other employees, learn about MWF initiatives, and volunteer for different programs in keeping with the foundation’s three sustainability core areas: the greater penetration of the WASH program, the safeguarding of community health and safety, and the increase of productivity in communities through the provision of water and sanitation. The 2018 roadshow raised a total of PhP 215,905 worth of pledges from Manila Water employees, which was utilized to construct hygiene facilities for pupils in Camp Bagong Amai Pakpak elementary school and Pendolonan elementary school in Marawi City.

Rather than setting targets or goals, the foundation aligns and adheres to Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards in order to boost its long-term viability and address the needs of stakeholder communities. Over the years the foundation has refocused its mandate and aims to be the leading organization for water access, sanitation and hygiene education in the Philippines. To do this, it seeks out communities who are water-less and toilet-less, or outside the concession area of the Manila Water enterprise. MWF also responds to needs of communities without technical support, such as those affected by disasters.
The WASH program believes that water access, proper sanitation facilities and hygiene education are catalysts for the improvement of quality of life and good health. While the construction of water and sanitation facilities are the tangible features of the program, equally important is the intangible support the program provides. This can only become reality with a deep understanding of the needs of the beneficiaries, and the full engagement of the communities it assists. Through the foundation’s Values-Transformation and Technical Workshops, community members are equipped to give back to their communities.

Sitio Monicayo is an indigenous peoples (IP) community located in Mabalacat, Pampanga, Philippines. It is composed of around 170 households or around 1,000 residents. Due to migration and intermarriages, the community is a mixture of indigenous persons (the Aetas of North Luzon) and non-indigenous residents. Water access in Sitio Monicayo had been a challenge for the community. Prior to the construction of the water facility provided by MWF and its partners, residents either used rain water or drew water from a spring located approximately 50 meters from the main road and more than 100 meters from the residential area. Those with enough resources purchased water either from a private deep well located within the area, or from vendors in a neighboring community, three kilometers away. In 2016, water access was made available to Sitio Monicayo through the efforts of the Manila Water Foundation, in partnership with Clark Water Company (CWC) and Clark Development Corporation (CDC).
A Level 2 stand-alone water system was constructed inside the community. To maintain the facility, MWF and CDC initiated the formation of the Water Group composed of Sitio Monicayo residents. The group underwent capacity building on key skills such as operations and maintenance, financial literacy and basic accounting to equip them with skills to maintain the facility. Currently, most of Monicayo residents draw water from the facility (85 percent for drinking; 72 percent for domestic use).

MWF also reaches out to other marginalized communities through its Flagship programs, Lingap, Ahon and Health in our Hands. These programs are for public institutions and low-income communities that have less to no capacity to install their own stand-alone water supply system, and who are in need of hygiene education. The Lingap program helps provide clean, safe and potable water by building hand washing and drinking facilities in public institutions such as schools and health centers. Ahon serves low-income communities with the provision of subsidies for individual piped-in water service connections, and construction of toilets and other sanitation facilities to help with waste containment, disposal and management, while the Health in Our Hands program educates communities on the importance of proper hygiene practices as a key to healthy living. MWF celebrates World Oral Health Day every March 20, Global Handwashing Day every October 15 and World Toilet Day every November 19 in these communities.
MWF believes that its contributions have a ripple effect in creating more productive citizenry, who in turn help improve the country’s economic competitiveness. It measures the results of its initiatives by quantitative and qualitative methods including baseline surveys, focus group discussions, and key informant interviews. Once each phase of a program is completed, the foundation conducts another round of interviews to compare findings. The organization is currently implementing stronger monitoring and evaluation mechanics in its various project locations in order to closely monitor impact and significant change brought about by its initiatives. To this end MWF has formed a dedicated Monitoring & Evaluation Team which gathers data from the ground and consolidates the information into a shared Social Impact Dashboard which is can be accessed by both foundation employees and board members.

In 2015, the Manila Water Foundation launched the Prize for Engineering Excellence. In its maiden year, it gave recognition to five exemplary Filipino engineers who have made positive change in communities through innovations in water, sanitation, environment and sustainability. Through this search, the foundation highlights the stories of professionals whose work have largely gone unnoticed, but have created lasting impact.

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