Hotels, resorts, and other commercial businesses in El Nido are encouraged to connect to the existing Sewage and Solid Waste Treatment Plant (SSWTP) in Sitio Batbat, Barangay Villa Libertad in order to safeguard both humans and the ecology in which they dwell.
Engr. Ann Michelle Cardenas, program manager of Palawan Water, said that so far, only 10 establishments are connected to the treatment facility.
She said the treatment of wastewater is important to protect the health of El Nido’s ecosystem.
It wastewater is properly treated, it may be used for other purposes, Cardenas added.
“Ang goal nito is to be able to treat the wastewater, septage and biodegradable waste from different hotels, resorts and residential [areas],” she said.
“Kung hindi natin ito ma-mitigate [ang wastewater, septage, and biodegradable waste ay maaaring makasira ito sa environment,” Cardenas added.
The SSWTP is a joint project of the provincial government and the El Nido municipal government that treats wastewater, septage, and solid waste to make the environment safe. It was inaugurated last year in September.
The facility has the capacity to collect 20 metric tons of biodegradable waste and 2,400 cubic meters of sewage per day, resulting in the generation of 100 percent biowaste in 18 barangays in El Nido.
On March 24, over 40 young engineers from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) paid a visit to the facility as part of a four-day educational tour.
The group’s visit aims to personally observed the operation of the plant as the in the country with a complete facility that was designed based on Republic Act 9275, or the “Clean Water Act of 2004”, and Section 2 of Republic Act 9003, or the “Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000”.
Cardenas said that this activity would aid in encouraging the town’s commercial sectors and businesses to link with the SSWTP.
“Isa itong daan para ma-recognize ang [SSWTP] sa buong El Nido at buong Pilipinas para maengganyo natin ang hotels and resorts na magpakabit na [dito],” Cardenas said.
The DENR-EMB group is compsed of newly-hired engineers from different fields of expertise.
Engineers Jasmin G. Quilis and Stephanie Kim A. Pineda said visiting the El Nido SSWTP will broaden their learning development as new in the field.
“Ang pag-visit namin dito sa El Nido ay malaking part siya sa learning development namin as engineers. Nakita talaga namin ‘yong mga actual process ng treatment sa solid waste and sa sewage at nakita din namin na sobrang importante talaga ang pagkakaroon ng treatment system para ma-protect natin ang environment natin,” said Engr. Quilis.
Pineda described her visit to the SSWTP and witnessing how it runs as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will help her advance in her chosen field.