Coron, El Nido counter perils of tourist boom with Vigormin
In a bid to avoid the wastewater predicament of Boracay from happening in their beaches, local establishments in the municipalities of Coron and El Nido in Palawan have already adopted an eco-friendly solution to the pressing demand for effective septic water treatment. Vigormin is an odorless, white powder composed of various organo-minerals that have the capability to neutralize the poignant odor as well as the mucky color in wastewaters or septic waters. It is developed by Dr. Merlinda Palencia, a Chemical Engineering (ChE) professor from Adamson University, under the auspices of the Department of Science and Technology Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD). Notably, its efficacy was tested and proven in Palo, Leyte, one of the Yolanda-stricken areas, wherein several temporary shelters had untreated septic water treatment facilities. Due to its success, DOST has been attempting to replicate Vigormin application especially to the hottest tourist destinations in the country including the municipalities of Coron and El Nido. During the Science, Tech- nology, and Innovation (STI) Roadshows conducted by the DOST-MIMAROPA in Coron and El Nido, Dr. Palencia introduced the Vigormin to invited local owners of hotel and accommodation establishments as well as to representatives in the sector of manufacturing and transport. As of now, nineteen (19) tourism establishments in Coron while ten (10) tourism establishments from El Nido are currently using Vigormin for septic water treatment notably the Coron Soleil Garden Resort, a four-star hotel located at the foot in Mt. Tapyas. Carla Luneta, the hotel’s manager, revealed that they had been receiving complaints from the nearby residents due to the abhorrent reek from the wastewater discharge of their facilities. However, with Vigormin, they observed significant improvements in the quality of their wastewater that enabled them to pass DENR accreditations. In an effort to pursue green operations initiatives, Coron Garden Hotel Resort is also constructing an Eco-friendly Septic Tank System or Eco-sep, under the guidance of Palencia, to further make their wastewater treatment more efficient and sustainable.