Water District features

Davao City Water District's success story
By Maria Editha C. Monje

A long time ago, the old Davaoeños relied on mother nature - the Davao river and the rain for their water needs. Since these were not enough, the first waterworks system came about in 1921. Called the Sales waterworks System, it tapped the Malagos creek to serve about 10,000 consumers. As the populace grew, studies for improvement were made and so in 1968, the water system was placed under the National Waterworks and Sewerage Authority (NAWASA). This signaled the construction of better water facilities. Demand for more potable water proportionately grew with the increasing population.

In 1973, Davao City Water District was created by virtue of Presidential Decree 198. Operating as a quasi-public utility or a semi-government status, DCWD implemented its project in calculated phases and stages. Transmission and distribution lines, sources, pumping stations and reservoirs multiplied in large proportions as DCWD tried to cope with Davao City's progress. On March 12, 1992, the Supreme Court declared with finality that all water districts in the country (to include DCWD) created under PD 198 are government-owned and controlled corporations (201 SCRA 593). This is now the status of DCWD.

The DCWD has -- ever since its inception -- been the biggest water district in the Philippines, now having over 130,000 active service connections and is still fast growing. Through three years, it has continuously widened its horizons beyond basic water delivery. The water utility actively networks with many GOCCs, private and public agencies and even private individuals for water and environmental concerns and gender development. It also takes on scholarship and various outreach programs that benefit the less privileged constituents of the city. It has also been a godfather water district to all water utilities in Region 11 and to all its counterparts around the country that come or it may reach for assistance and guidance in operation and technology.

The Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) has more than once awarded DCWD as Most Outstanding Water District (very large category), the distinction it holds to this day. In 1996, DCWD also ranked fourth among the 12 Asia-Pacific countries with the most successful efforts in reducing unaccounted-for-water. In addition to its laurels, in 1997, the Asian Development Bank's Second Water Utilities Data Book ranked DCWD number one among 50 water utilities in the Asia Pacific Region. It shared equal glory with Singapore and Johor Bahru of Malaysia. Indeed, DCWD's service record has remained unsurpassed nor unequalled as being the country's most progressive water district in Philippine history.

The Davao City Water District faces the challenges of the 2000s through expanded and better water service to all Davaoenos. Since 1973, DCWD holds the prestigious record of being the biggest and most progressive water utility in the Philippines, a status never surpassed nor equaled even at the close of the 20th century. Consequently, its efforts have been documented in the numerous awards, citations, and honors it has received from various entities, a few of which are cited hereunder:

  • No. 1 Water Utility in the Asia-Pacific Region
    Side by side with Singapore and Johor bahru Malaysia as published in the Asian Development Bank's Second Water Utilities Data Book which contained the result of the evaluation done among fifty water utilities in the region
  • Sangguniang Panlungsod Commendation
    For bringing honor and recognition to the City of Davao
    By virtue of being declared as No. 1 water utility in the Asia-Pacific Region.
    Resolution No. 110 was issued by the Twelfth City Council during its 18th regular session on February 23, 1999
  • No. 4 Among the 12 Asia-Pacific Countries
    With the most successful efforts in reducing unaccounted-for-water
    Given by International Water Supply Association - Asia Pacific in November 1996.
  • Outstanding Establishment in Davao City
    In the field of Productivity and Quality Promotion
    Given by the Philippine Quality and Productivity Movement, Inc. Davao Chapter and Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board - Region 10 on December 5, 1997.
  • Most Outstanding Water District (Very Large Category)
    Given by Local Water Utilities Administration
    1995, 1996, 2001, 2002
  • Most Outstanding Regional Training Center
    Given by Local Water Utilities Administration, 1996

There is no stopping to DCWD's continuous and unwavering fulfillment of its vision, mission, and corporate philosophy. And so for as long as there is left one single Davaoeno's thirst to quench, water will continue flowing along with its: VISION: To be the best and most efficient water utility in Asia, providing quality water at reasonable cost and excellent service, satisfying its customers, employees and the community, and ensuring water resource sustainability; MISSION: We commit to supply potable and affordable water 24 hours a day, deliver reliable service, operate efficiency, and take proactive stance in environmental concerns; and CORPORATE PHILOSOPHY: Service with dignity and honor.