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Integrating Resilience to a Water Governance Regime:

A Proposed Framework for Rural Municipalities in the Philippines


Bertrand Alexander J. Lesaca1

1
University of the Philippines - National College of Public Administration and Governance, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

[Keywords: water governance; sustainability; local capacity; rural resilience]

Abstract

In the Philippines, rural municipalities are hard put when it comes to financial access and
support for the infrastructure and development of its water resources. In addition, these rural
local government units (LGUs) need the knowledge and information that are applicable to their
specific needs and situation which they can readily understand, relate to and design easily
implementable programs. Traditionally, the national government takes up the cudgels for the
LGUs on such matters and coordinates government and foreign-funded projects, activities and
programs to meet local needs for assistance. However with decentralization and devolution, the
additional functions and responsibilities given these rural LGUs only put further stress on its
already limited resources, resulting in inefficiencies and leading to poor, if not failed, water
governance.

This paper takes a look at the current literature on good water governance, sustainability, and
resilience to come up with a framework which can be used as an approach to determine the state
and ultimately enhance rural water governance regimes in a way that meets the needs of local
constituents and is sustainable even in times of disasters. Specifically, it tries to add resilience as
an encompassing dimension to the four pillars of good water governance, namely, the economic,
social, political and environmental pillars (Tropp, 2007). Based on this, it proposes a set of
indicators that can be used to assess the sustainability of the water governance regime in rural
municipalities in the Philippines.