The Philippines has launched a pilot program to test the effectiveness of a controversial purified water product that some experts say could lead to shortages of essential medicines in the country.
Key points:Dow Chemical announced a new product, “Purified Water,” that promises to purify drinking water, and a pilot project will test its effectivenessIn late February, Dow Chemical said it would launch a pilot test of its purified water products in the PhillipinesThe Philippines has announced a pilot of a purified water-based product that promises “a faster and safer way to clean water” that could have “a massive impact on the country’s health and sanitation”The program, dubbed “Purify Water” will be launched by Dow Chemical Inc. and its subsidiary, DowDuPont, in the southern Philippines this year.
The company says the product will be offered for free at public distribution centers, supermarkets and private health centers and will be distributed in two phases: a trial period and a full rollout in 2020.
“The first phase will be free and the second phase will cost $30 per 1,000 liters of purified water,” Dow Chemical CEO Mark DeLong said in a press release.
“This pilot program will give us a chance to test this new technology in a market with a significant amount of demand for the products, and to demonstrate its safety and effectiveness.”
According to Dow Chemical, the product is intended to be used in areas where the availability of clean drinking water is limited, including rural areas and in areas with a high concentration of the parasite Giardia oryzae.
Critics say the product could be disastrous for the Philippines, which has some of the world’s highest rates of infections and drug-resistant infections, including infections caused by the parasite.
Dow’s statement on Purify Water was issued shortly after the company’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, Tom Gartenberg, issued a statement urging the Philippines to adopt the pilot program.
The Philippines needs to take the initiative to clean its water supply, Gartberg said.
“I urge the Philippine government to consider the potential impact of this new water product on the nation’s health, as well as the long-term economic and social implications of this experiment,” Gartenburg said.
The Philippine government has not responded to Dow’s announcement.
“We have a very limited amount of money, but we’re willing to do what it takes to get it done,” Gertenberg told CNN Philippines.
“What we’re looking for is an early launch, and this is one of the steps that we’re taking to test it.”
The Philippine Health Department has been trying to address the lack of clean water in parts of the country by deploying water filters to filter drinking water for at least a year, according to the health department.
Dw Chemical is one the worlds largest chemical manufacturers, with nearly 70% of its revenues coming from the US.
The United States and several other countries have also been experimenting with the use of purified drinking water products to combat a range of health problems, including the Zika virus.
The US Department of Health and Human Services has launched several public health programs aimed at boosting public awareness of the disease and encouraging residents to drink filtered water.
Dyke, the CEO of the Philippines’ public health agency, told CNN earlier this year that he hoped the pilot project would help address the Philippines water shortage.
Dry water in poor areas may not be as clean as purified water, Dyke said.