To improve sanitation in remote areas, the Department of Science and Technology Region XI (DOST-XI), through its Provincial Science and Technology Center in Davao de Oro (PSTC DdO), deployed the first portable toilet facilities integrated with Vertical Helophyte Filter System (VHFS) in Andap National High School, New Bataan, Davao de Oro on 11 March 2022.
VHFS is a low-cost and nature-based secondary wastewater treatment technology. Funded by DOST-XI under the Community Empowerment thru Science and Technology (CREST) program, the project was developed through the Wastewater Treatment System Upgrading Program as well as the Public Sanitation & Hygiene Upgrading Program. Both programs promote cleanliness and aim to reduce the environmental pollution caused by improper wastewater disposal.
The facility has two female and two male toilets, one four-chamber septic system, and one 12 square meter-VHFS to naturally treat the wastewater before discharging it into the natural environment.
Vertical Helophyte Filter System
“Aside from Andap, we have also constructed toilet facilities with VHFS in other poor communities within the region such as Barangay Tamugan. We were also able to deploy a VHFS in Davao Oriental State University for their dormitory. Since 2018, the VHFS has been deployed to more than 20 beneficiaries in the micro, small and medium enterprises, public facilities and small communities, “said Engr. Sean Ligtvoet, Project Officer II and Wastewater Consultant of DOST Region XI.
Over the past five years, the VHFS gained recognition as an effective low-cost and nature based secondary wastewater treatment technology from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Environmental Management Bureau, the Davao City Water District, the City Environment and Natural Resource Office- Davao, the City Planning and Development Office- Davao, the Department of Public Works and Highways XI, and various local government units. (DOST XI S&T Information and Promotion)