Laguna Water makes Top 10 in Global Competition for Sustainable Development

Laguna Water’s Team SAVE (L-R): Communications and Branding Specialist Dustin Ibanez, Used Water Facility Manager Harriette Berdan, Territory Manager Havenlynne Garcia, Used Water Operations Manager Rheena Paola Go, Territory Manager Glenny Ermita, and Used Water Facility Manager Nariyah Marie Ilagan.

Brining pride to the Philippines, Laguna Water’s Portable Toilet Solution (PTS): Sustainable Sanitation for the Base of the Pyramid has made it to the top 10 and was selected as a runner-up in the 2017 Ideas for Action; a global youth competition on innovative ideas for financing and implementing United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), organized by the World Bank Group and the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Besting almost 2000 teams from 125 countries, Laguna Water’s TEAM SAVE (Sanitation Availability for Various Economies), composed of Used Water Operations Manager Rheena Paola Go; Used Water Facility Managers Nariyah Marie Ilagan and Harriette Berdan; Territory Managers Havenlynne Garcia and Glenny Ermita; and Communications and Branding Specialist Dustin Ibanez, delivered an outstanding proposal on how adequate sanitation will be made available to all, most especially to families with low financial capacity. 

“Sanitation remains to be a challenge to millions of Filipinos; many do not have toilet facilities; thus, resorting to open defecation. Furthermore, a lot of households do not practice proper treatment of wastewater. These lead to various health and environmental problems and economic losses,” said Rheena Go.

Guided and mentored by the originators of the PTS, Laguna Water President Virgilio Rivera, Jr. and General Manager and Chief Operating Officer Melvin John Tan, the proposed solution aims to help Filipinos gain access to proper  sanitation. The main idea is to provide low-income communities with PTS anchored on a Utility Business Model with two levels of cross-subsidy; (1) between water supply and sanitation services and (2) across customer classes, to make it available and affordable for all.  

Judged by a panel consisting of senior World Bank, Wharton School, and private sector executives, the Philippines’ PTS idea, together with this year’s best proposals, will be published in the 2017 Ideas for Action book.

Geared towards the realization of sustainable sanitation for all, Laguna Water has already started its study on the Portable Toilet Solution. Additionally, the company is set to provide desludging service to the entire Province of Laguna, hence, its sewage treatment plant is currently being upgraded to include a fully-mechanized septage treatment facility.

Ideas for Action is an annual competition that encourages the youth to contribute in the achievement of SDGs, and provides students and young professionals from around the globe opportunity to design financing solutions that will help shape the international development agenda. Believing in young people’s ability to change the world, the competition acts as a catalyst to spark global conversation among millennials, encouraging them to contribute their own voice to development  conversation. 

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