Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Acting Secretary Jim O. Sampulna commended the local government of Palawan province and El Nido town for their efforts to control and lessen water pollution through the establishment of a sewage and solid waste treatment plant (SSTP).
“I am calling all the governors around the Philippines to replicate what the Palawan and El Nido local governments have done here to improve the water quality and protect our coastal bodies,” Sampulna said during a site visit to the SSTP on April 2.
The SSTP in Barangay Villa Libertad was designed and built to address water pollution from untreated sewage discharge and garbage waste disposal.
It has been benefitting the residential and commercial establishments from at least 18 barangays in the municipality of El Nido.
The facility has a capacity to generate about 2,400 cubic meters of wastewater per day, which makes it more efficient than any other STPs in Palawan.
It could also process biodegradable solid waste and sludge through anaerobic digestion, thus generating electricity from biogas production.
The state-of-the-art facility is a P490-million joint project of the provincial government of Palawan and the municipality of El Nido.
Palawan Water, a water utility infrastructure by the provincial government, generated savings of P170 million because of the office’s pro bono technical service.
In 2018, the DENR ordered a six-month rehabilitation of El Nido after finding out that improper sewage discharges from residential and commercial establishments significantly contributed to the degradation of the island’s water quality.
The facility was inaugurated in September 2021.