The Local Water Utilities Administration, more commonly referred to as LWUA, was created through PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 198, also known as “The Provincial Water Utilities Act of 1973,” which was signed into law on May 25, 1973.
LWUA is a government-owned and controlled corporation (GOCC) with a specialized lending function mandated by law to promote and oversee the development of water supply systems in provincial cities and municipalities outside of Metropolitan Manila.
It is run by an Administrator assisted by a Senior Deputy Administrator, a Deputy Administrator for Finance & Investments, a Deputy Administrator for Area Operations, and a Deputy Administrator for Administrative Services, under the guidance of a five-man Board of Trustees where the Administrator is an ex-officio member.
The law that created LWUA in the national level also provided for the establishment of WATER DISTRICTS in provincial cities and municipalities. Thus would be put into motion a development partnership called the “LWUA-Water District Concept” that would revolutionize water supply provision in the countryside.
LWUA functions as a lending source. LWUA is the only lending institution – whether in the public or private sector — with the financial, technical and institutional development competence to enable a water district’s water supply project to generate return-on-investments.
LWUA treats countryside water supply development not simply as a financial venture, nor as a mere waterworks construction project, but as a comprehensive development endeavor that factors in the community’s economic and cultural nuances, among other things, to assure residents of a water supply service that is both reliable and lasting. LWUA’s comprehensive expertise has been responsible for turning Philippine countryside water supply development into the working model for Asia that it is today. Water Districts benefit from this comprehensive expertise through LWUA’s various assistance programs.
LWUA functions as an expert in water supply development. LWUA is the only Philippine water supply institution with full expertise in developing Level III (individual household connection) water supply systems. Its competence spans the financial, technical, institutional development and regulatory aspects of water supply development. It is also an expert in developing Level I (communal well) and Level II (communal faucet) systems. This expertise is often availed of by other government institutions involved in the development of these water supply systems.
LWUA functions as a financial expert. LWUA since 1973 has been financing water supply projects through funds secured from national government subscriptions, bilateral and multilateral fund sources, and from internally-generated funds and second generation funds. Recently, government and private financing institutions have been tapped as new fund sources. Traditionally, these sources are inaccessible to water districts. LWUA then allocates and relends these funds to water districts at competitive terms. Some funds, meanwhile, are extended as grants. Under recent enhancements to its charter, LWUA is also tasked to assist water districts graduate into creditworthy status and access non-traditional sources of funds.
The LWUA know-how also includes the determination and implementation of socially responsive and financially viable water rates, and tariff review to determine its adequacy to meet WD expansion needs.
LWUA functions as a technical expert. LWUA’s teams of engineers and technicians have undergone extensive studies and trainings both here and abroad, and have gained an unequalled competence in water supply and sanitation development through actual experiences in the field. Their expertise includes all phases of planning, design, construction supervision, and operations and maintenance supervision, including identification and development of water sources and systems efficiency improvement.
LWUA functions as an institutional development expert. With the overall success and sustainability of a water district in mind, LWUA extends institutional development assistance in the form of advisory and managerial services; transfers policy-making, managerial and technical competence to the pertinent WD personnel through training interventions; designs and provides water districts with commercial practices systems for a smoother commercial operation.