Manila Water Foundation (MWF), Globe Telecom, and Boracay Island Water Company (BIWC) kicked start their Php 1.3 million Boracay rehabilitation project last July 13, 2018, through the successful ground-breaking ceremony of the communal septic tank in Sitio Ilaya, Barangay Balabag.
Several local organizations, institutions, and government leaders played a role in developing this project. Amidst them is Nathaniel Sacapaño, a local resident who generously initiated the donation of a portion of his land for the development of the tank. This notable initiative will ensure proper used water containment of the 15 low-lying households comprising his community.
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.”
“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.”
Also 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 used water. Four thousand households from Barangays 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.
“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 testament of 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, narito po kami para magbigay suporta.”
“These programs are testament of our commitment to the island. With our partners, our commitment remains. 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.