President Fidel Ramos of Philippines is all set to solve the country's water problems once and for all. A radical shake-up of the Philippines' state-owned water facilities is on the wings. This will almost certainly entail at least partial privatisation of the Manila water utility in a revamp which foreign water companies say would be years ahead of the country's other Asian neighbours.
Ramos has been granted special emergency powers by Congress to tackle the nation's growing water shortfall. According to World Bank estimates, up to one-third of Manila's water supply is lost through pilfering and leakage every day. Later this month a World Bank team will visit Manila to recommend emergency measures, after which Ramos will have about 9 months to act on local and World Bank recommendations before the emergency powers lapse.
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