Local resident of Boracay supports rehabilitation project by donating his land for the construction of a communal septic tank

Doing his part in the six-month rehabilitation program of Boracay, a local resident of the island, Mr. Nathaniel Sacapaño, generously initiated the donation of a portion of his land for the development of a communal septic tank that will ensure proper wastewater containment of the 15 low-lying households comprising his community in Sitio Ilaya, Barangay Balabag.

Supporting this project are Manila Water Foundation (MWF), Globe Telecom, and Boracay Island Water Company (BIWC) and several local organizations and institutions. This is part of the Php 1.3 million Boracay rehabilitation project which was kicked off last July 13, 2018, through the successful ground-breaking ceremony of the communal septic tank in Sitio Ilaya.

Mr. Sacapaño emphasized how significant every single contribution is towards the rehabilitation of Boracay, not only for his family, but to his community as well. “Ako ay tubong Boracay. Naipaliwanag sa akin at naintindihan ko ang intensyon ng proyekto. Alam kong maaari tayong umaksyon kahit gaano man kalaki o kaliit ang kontribusyon.”

Translation: “Boracay is my hometown. The purpose of the project was explained to me, and I fully understood its value. I believe that we can all do something, no matter how big or small our contributions are.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) expressed support to the project. DENR Assistant Secretary for Policy and Planning Services, Ms. Corazon C. Davis, said that these initiatives sparked the start of bigger collaborations that all lead towards the same goal of restoring not only Boracay, but also the “bayanihan” culture.

“It is a challenge for us to balance the people, planet, and profit. One of the responses to the challenge is the use of technology. And now we see the work of a scientist [Dr. Merlinda Palencia]. With Vigormin and the septic tank, we can see the start of a collaboration. This painful experience, the closure of Boracay, rekindled bayanihan. I am confident that we can rise beyond Boracay.”

Part of the island’s rehabilitation initiatives is the distribution of 8,000 packs of Vigormin - a low-cost, organo-mineral solution to boost the removal rate of organic pollutants in septic tanks for improved quality of wastewater. Four thousand households from Baranggays Balabag, Manocmanoc, and Yapak in Boracay, who are not yet connected to the sewer lines, each received two kilos of this organic product. Dr. Merlinda Palencia, the project lead of Vigormin and one of the awardees of the MWF Prize for Engineering Excellence, spearheaded the distribution and demonstrated its value to the environment and, in effect, to one’s health.

Mr. Mike Santos, General Manager of BIWC, reiterated the importance of the initiatives and the possible impacts of the projects to the overall rehabilitation of the island. These projects are in support of their very own Amot Amot sa Malimpyong Boracay or Toka Toka sa Malinis na Boracay campaign.

“90% ng mga residente ay hindi nakakabit sa sewer system dahil ang magpagawa ng ganitong sistema ay hindi mura. Mahal ang lupa. Kaya nagpapasalamat tayo kay Mang Nathaniel Sacapaño na may ginintuang puso at nagbigay ng lupa para sa [pagpapatayo ng] communal septic tank. Panimula palang ito. Sana ay mas lalo pang mapagtibay ang ating pag-sustain sa Borcacay,” Mr. Santos expressed.

Translation: 90% of the residents here [in Boracay] have not yet connected to the sewer system, mostly because the cost of building a system is expensive. Land is [also] expensive. Which is why we are thankful to Mr. Nathaniel Sacapaño, who is kind enough to donate his land for the construction of the communal septic tank. This is just the beginning. It is in my hopes that we continue to strengthen our initiatives to sustain Boracay.

MWF Executive Director Mr. Reginald Andal also expressed the Foundation’s commitment to the rehabilitation of the island. “These programs are our commitment to the island. Mula’t mula pa noon, narito kami at ang mga partners natin. Mula sa pagsasaya, pagsasara, at muling pagbubukas ng Boracay, Nanrito po kami para magbigay suporta.”

Translation: “With these programs, this is our commitment to the island. With our partners, our commitment remains even from the beginning. On joyous times, to the closure of the island, and until its much-awaited opening, we will be here.”

After the pilot project’s construction, monitoring and evaluation of the structures will be undertaken to determine its performance.

 

Manila Water Foundation (MWF), Globe Telecom, and Boracay Island Water Company (BIWC), joined by their honored guests, officially break ground the construction of a communal septic tank in Sitio Ilaya, Barangay Balabag, Boracay.

The major thrust of the partnership is to help the government rehabilitate the island through embarking on a sustainable development project. The provision of a communal septic tank for the 15 households in Sitio Ilaya, Barangay Balabag will ensure proper containment of used water for this low-lying community. This is in support of BIWC’s wider sustainability program, Amot Amot sa Malimpyong Boracay (Toka Toka sa Malinis na Boracay).

In this photo are (top row, L-R), MWF Executive Director Mr. Reginald Andal, Island Administrator and Executive Assistant to the Mayor of Malay, Mr. Rowen Aguirre, Globe Telecom Senior Vice President and Head of Corporate Communications, Ms. Yoly Crisanto, land owner,  Mr. Nathaniel Sacapaño, Barangay Balabag Captain, Mr. Jason Talapian, and General Manager of BIWC, Mr. Mike Santos.

Also, part of the island’s rehabilitation initiatives is the distribution of 8,000 packs of Vigormin to the 4,000 households from Baranggay Balabag, ManocManoc, and Yapak in Boracay.

Mr. Nathaniel Sacapaño, a resident from Boracay, generously donated a portion of his land for the construction of the communal septic tank that will ensure proper waste and used water containment of the 15 low-lying households comprising his community.