With a wealth of human and natural resources, the Philippines has experienced substantial economic growth in recent years. However, the gains have mostly occurred in the capital region. In the rest of the country, many highly populated areas experience water deficits due to a lack of appropriate infrastructure. Water quality suffers from pollution of river basins and over-extraction of groundwater, as well as widespread deforestation, which also makes the country more vulnerable to flooding. Though 91 percent of the population has basic water service, only 43 percent of that was piped as of , down from 47 percent in 2000. Overall sanitation coverage is relatively high, at 88 percent in rural areas and 96 percent in urban areas
USAID works with the Government of the Philippines on integrated approaches to manage water and forest resources, including enacting a moratorium on logging and an ambitious reforestation program. Other activities improve water supply, water management, and sanitation and hygiene in waterless communities, including the installation of low-cost, locally manufactured ram pumps, combined with water storage and piping systems, to deliver potable water. Urban-focused activities promote inclusive and resilient urban development through disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation, and work to ensure access to sustainable water supply and sanitation services. In FY 2016, USAID activities in the Philippines resulted in 968,550 people with access to improved drinking water services, and 454,351 with access to improved sanitation services.
USAID supported early emergency relief operations in response to conflict in the city of Marawi in 2017, distributing water containers and nearly 100,000 chlorine tablets to 12,000 families. It provided water and sanitation facilities and emergency shelter materials, benefitting more than 7,500 families. Ongoing assistance from USAID is also helping to restore public services, like water and electricity, and improve health and education systems.