Implementing the Phased Approach to Sustainable
Sanitation (PhATSS) in local governance and programming- Sultan Kudarat
ASDSW has been working in Central Mindanao since 2007 with various partners including UNICEF. Within this period, ASDSW has continuously worked with local government units and communities to institutionalize WaSH governance and build and strengthen technical capacity of partner implementers. This has expanded to WaSH in educational institutions as per the Dep-Ed’s 3 Star Approach and WaSH in Schools (WinS) and Early Childhood Care Development (ECCD) Program. The Phased Approach to Sustainable Sanitation (PhATSS) in Sultan Kudarat Province (SKP) as framework for WaSH development was also introduced on 2017. Parallel to WaSH intervention in SK Province, the ARMM region also institutionalized WaSH through the creation of the Regional Subcommittee on WatSan (RSCWS), under the supervision of the Regional Planning and Development Office. Additional capacity development activity was also conducted in the whole of ARMM region and Region 12 through the conduct of Managing WaSH in Emergency and Contingency Planning, attended by the PDRRMOs, DepEd Superintendents, PPDOs, PHOs or their representatives.
The program concentrated on leveraging LGU efforts at all levels for improving the WaSH situation in SK and ARMM provinces.
The SK Province has adopted the Phased Approach to Sustainable Sanitation (PhATSS) as the operational strategy of the national policy on achieving the Philippines target for Sustainable Sanitation. They utilized PhATSS strategy in contributing to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 6 on Water and Sanitation.
By the end of 2018, two (2) of the municipalities of Sultan Kudarat Province reached 100% Zero Open Defecation (ZOD) status namely Bagumbayan and Esperanza. Overall, a total of 336,892 people or 69,240 household in the province are living in a ZOD community. Four (4) of its barangays passed the G2 (Improved Sanitation) final verification. This achievement was made possible by the participation of all actors on its implementation, believing that informed people is key to development as informed communities can drive development and become effective vehicle for positive change.
The success of PhATSS in Sultan Kudarat is a testament that empowering the communities to take responsibilities in improving their quality of life and managing their resources and capacities initiates development, as communities are transformed from being misinformed skeptic and passive
observers to educated participants and advocates for WaSH. Putting in place the enabling environment, as what the LGUs and other participating agencies, ensures sustainability of the program. This is what A Single Drop for Safe Water envisions and advocates for with our communities and partners in the countryside.