During the past several decades, the word sanitation in Philippine context has meant different things to different stakeholders. For sanitation professionals, sanitation refers to any and all measures that protect human health from pathogens be it water borne, air borne or from other sources. To the water supply and sanitation service providers, it refers specifically to septage management. The MDGs and the 2008 International Year of Sanitation inspired all of us to reduce poverty by increasing access to sanitation, interpreted largely as increasing access to safe toilets. Today, the emerging definition of sanitation in the Philippines points to the hygienic and proper management, collection, disposal/reuse of human excreta (feces and urine) and domestic wastewater to safeguard the health of individuals and communities. This new definition resonates well with the new science of sustainable sanitation being promoted by a global expert group called the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance. The SuSanA defines sustainable sanitation as systems that protect and promote human health, do not contribute to environmental degradation and/or depletion of the resource base, and are technically and institutionally appropriate, economically viable and socially acceptable. This paper will trace the evolution and underpinnings of the concept Sustainable Sanitation in the Philippines context.

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