Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Practices in the Philippines: Meeting National and Global Targets at the Local Level
As national and global water, sanitation, and hygiene targets have been set and programs have been implemented, the study aimed to assess the attainment of these targets at the local level in selected areas in Davao region, the Philippines. Randomly selected households were assessed for water, sanitation, and hygiene indicators using a modified tool that combined national guidelines and global recommendations. Validated access to improved water source for drinking was below the targets in most barangays, while validated sanitary toilet coverages in all barangays did not meet the targets. Significant difference was observed between validated and reported access to improved water and sanitation services in some barangays. Approximately 87.5% of households had a handwashing facility, but only 51.2% of which had both water and soap available. Achieving the targets is challenged by the gap in monitoring due to a decentralized health system in the Philippines. There is a need to standardize indicators and optimize the tool to allow a comprehensive assessment of water, sanitation, and hygiene practices. This will help generate local data that are in line with national guidelines and global recommendations to enhance policy and to determine priority areas for improved water, sanitation, and hygiene service delivery.