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Are improved water supply and sanitation always safe for children? Implications for attaining the MDGs in the Philippines


  • Joseph J. Capuno

    (School of Economics, University of the Philippines Diliman)

  • Carlos Antonio R. Tan, Jr.

    (School of Economics, University of the Philippines Diliman)


In 2010, the Philippines appeared to be on track to attain by 2015 its target for Millennium Development Goals 4 (Reduce child mortality), but less so for Goal 7 (Ensure environmental sustainability). In pursuit of the latter, the government expands its provision of water and services to more households. Applying propensity score matching technique on the data from the four rounds of a nationwide survey, such interventions are found to reduce the incidence of child diarrhea, a persistent top cause of child mortality, though not always. The impact of improved sources of drinking water is 1.3% to 2.6% in 1993 and 2.9% to 4.6% in 2003, but none is found in 1998 and 2008. The impact of improved sanitation is 1.2% to 2.1% in 1993 and 3.1% to 4.7% in 2008; but none is found in 1998 and 2003. In addition to health interventions, the regular monitoring of the quality of water and sanitation at the household level is suggested to achieve Goal 4.

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph J. Capuno & Carlos Antonio R. Tan, Jr., 2012. "Are improved water supply and sanitation always safe for children? Implications for attaining the MDGs in the Philippines," UP School of Economics Discussion Papers 201209, University of the Philippines School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:phs:dpaper:201209

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra E. Todd, 1997. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 605-654.
    2. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 2003. "Does piped water reduce diarrhea for children in rural India?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 153-173, January.
    3. Ganesh Rauniyar & Aniceto Orbeta & Guntur Sugiyarto, 2011. "Impact of water supply and sanitation assistance on human welfare in rural Pakistan," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(1), pages 62-102.
    4. Shahidur R. Khandker & Gayatri B. Koolwal & Hussain A. Samad, 2010. "Handbook on Impact Evaluation : Quantitative Methods and Practices," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2693, December.
    5. Marco Caliendo & Sabine Kopeinig, 2008. "Some Practical Guidance For The Implementation Of Propensity Score Matching," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 31-72, February.
    6. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 2002. "Propensity Score-Matching Methods For Nonexperimental Causal Studies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 151-161, February.
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    More about this item


    Water and sanitation; child health; MDGs; Philippines;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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