Securing water resource through watershed programs

The first “man-made lake” I’ve ever seen in my life was inside the Coca-Cola complex in Santa Rosa, Laguna, during a field trip in the ‘90s. In my mind then, the plant was so lucky to be in a watershed where it can get its own water supply for the beverages, all while recycling everything used up in the bottling process.

Today, Coca-Cola doesn’t only replenish water for its own use, but more so, for communities that critically need clean drinking water and water for agricultural processes, among many others.

Recognizing this need, Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines signed a memorandum of understanding with USAID and MUAD-Negros, a local federation of farming groups, to protect and rehabilitate Bago and Malogo watersheds in Negros Occidental. 

These watersheds provide water to 12 municipalities and cities which are home to more than 186,000 people.

Started in January 2021 and targeting to finish by December 2024, the watershed program is working with 19 barangay organizations in the region to rehabilitate the natural springs.

It involves communities and households by giving them proper education, incentives, and an enabling environment so they can become effective watershed managers. A total of 1,000 upland farmers, 490 of whom are women, are expected to gain sustainable livelihoods from the program.

In 2016, Coca-Cola Foundation (global) worked closely with the World Wildlife Fund for Nature Philippines (WWF-Philippines) and volunteers to help rehabilitate Ipo Watershed in Bulacan. The project replenished the watershed with 360 million liters in 2020. 

“These programs are a testament of how the Coca-Cola system in the Philippines —from the company, to the local foundation, as well as our local bottler—stays true to our commitment to water stewardship. We take it as a great responsibility to respect and protect our water resources. Through our programs, we gave back to communities and nature an estimated 132 percent of the water used in beverages. We hope to continue to empower and uplift the lives of more people and their community while protecting the environment,” said Antonio “Tony” Del Rosario, president of Coca-Cola Philippines and VP – Franchise Operations East (PH, VN, KH).

“Coca-Cola Philippines continues to reach out to water-stressed communities to ensure access to clean safe water to achieve its vision of being better for people, better for communities, and better for the environment.”