While having many positive impacts, a tremendous economic performance and rapid industrial expansion over the last decades in the Philippines has had negative effects that have resulted in unfavorable hydrological and ecological changes in most urban river systems and has created environmental problems. Usually, these effects would not be part of a systematic assessment of urban water benefits. To address the issue, this study investigates the relationship between poor water quality and resident’s willingness to pay (WTP) for improved water quality in Metro Manila. By employing a contingent valuation method (CVM), this paper estimates the benefits of the provision of clean water quality (swimmable and fishable) in waterbodies of Metro Manila for its residents. Face-to-face interviews were completed with 240 randomly selected residents. Residents expressed a mean WTP of PHP102.44 (USD2.03) for a swimmable water quality (good quality) and a mean WTP of PHP102.39 (USD2.03) for fishable water quality (moderate quality). The aggregation of this mean willingness-to-pay value amounted to annual economic benefits from PHP9443 billion to PHP9447 billion (approx. USD190 million) per year for all taxpayers in Metro Manila. As expected, these estimates could inform local decision-makers about the benefits of future policy interventions aimed at improving the quality of waterbodies in Metro Manila.
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