In the Philippines, more than 90 percent of sewage goes untreated. Households using septic tanks pay private companies to desludge their tanks, but there are few incentives for companies to haul the waste to a treatment facility or other designated place. Much of the pollution in surface and groundwater is from the dumping of untreated waste into rivers and other water bodies.
There is a need for improved enforcement capacity in regulating septage collection, transportation and treatment. A first step would be understanding the location, service area and routes of hauler or vacuum trucks, including when and where they dispose of waste (rivers, agricultural fields, drains).
A database with such information at the city or neighborhood level could help the government better understand the market for septage collection, treatment and disposal. It would give DOH a tool to help build better monitoring and enforcement capacity and to identify pollution hotspots. The information could also be used to promote greater demand for septage management and to develop local strategies under the Bank’s National Sewerage and Septage Management Program. Local governments could design appropriate incentive structures for service providers to ensure proper disposal.