Travellers Pension House & Beach Resort, General Luna, Surigao del Norte
(Photo by Travellers Beach Resort)

The Philippines is known for its white sand beaches and turquoise lagoons.  It is also home of renowned surf spots, one of which is in General Luna, Siargao, the home to the famous “Cloud 9” wave. However, beach resorts in the island have been facing a pressing issue on treating their wastewater as this has an effect on ensuring the sustainability of Siargao’s tourism.

“’The previous septic tank of the resort has a bottomless design, kaya direkta po ang paglabas ng aming wastewater sa dagat. At ang contamination po nito sa ating tubig ay malaking problema ng mga resorts dito sa isla. (The previous septic tanks of the resort have a bottomless design, so the wastewater drains straight into the sea.  The contamination of the water is one of the biggest problems of resorts in the island)” narrated Ms. Editha Gonzales, former General Manager of Travellers Pension House & Beach Resort in General Luna, Siargao.

Cleaning up wastewater has been a real challenge and poses a serious environmental threat. To address this concern, the Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development supported a research project to develop a wastewater clean-up technology.

(Photo by Travellers Pension House & Beach Resort)


(Photo by Travellers Pension House & Beach Resort)

The Eco-Friendly Septic System or Eco-Sep is a self-sustaining, portable, and movable wastewater treatment system that uses an innovative combination of bio-stimulation and filtration enhanced with organominerals, a technology developed by Dr. Merlinda Palencia through the support of DOST-PCIEERD.

The Eco-Sep’s Vigormin Organo Mineral (ViOM) is an odorless, white powder composed of various organo-minerals that has the capability to neutralize the poignant odor and the mucky color in wastewaters or septic water.  Its application significantly improves water quality based on the effluents standards set by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Following the successful testing of Eco-Sep in the sewerage systems of the bunkers of Yolanda survivors in Palo, Leyte last 2013 and on a Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs), hotels, jetty ports, and households in Boracay last 2015, DOST Caraga installed and field-tested Eco-Sep in selected tourism areas and environmentally compromised areas through a DOST-PCIEERD funded project titled, “Field Testing of Eco-Friendly Septic System for the Tourism Sector in Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte” or Project FRESH. 

Eco-Sep Pilot Plant in Tanauan, Batangas Tank (Photo by DOST-PCIEERD)
Drain field area at Travellers Pension House & Beach Resort (Photo by DOST-CARAGA)


The application of Vigormin was tested in the DOST-PCIEERD funded projects and was proven that VIGORMIN proper application can treat septic water to a Class C water.
(Photo by Dr. Merlinda Palencia)

“Since ma-install po ang Eco-Sep dito sa resort na may draining field area, nagkaroon na po kami ng mas maayos na pag-drain ng aming wastewater. Ito po direktang nagiging pandilig sa aming mga halaman. Walang amoy at malinis. Salamat sa DOST dahil isa kami sa mga naging recipient ng Eco-Sep.” said Ms. Gonzales.

Further, she thanked DOST for providing a one-year supply of Virgormin and mentioned that after a year of full implementation of the improved sewerage system thru Eco-Sep, their resort is proud to have met the effluent standards set by DENR.

Enjoining the jumpstart, Sugba Lagoon in the Municipality of Del Carmen, also in Siargao Island will also be launching their Eco-Sep this February 10, 2019.

Realizing the positive outcome, other hotels, beach resorts and LGUs in the island have inquired and expressed adopting Eco-Sep.

Dr. Enrico Paringit, Executive Director of DOST-PCIEERD, expressed assurance that such projects in the future will continually be supported.

“We will continue to provide solutions to societal problems through strategic research and development.” he said.

Dr. Paringit said that DOST-PCIEERD will take the lead in conducting collaborative efforts to maintain and protect the environment and the country’s ecotourism through science and technology interventions.

17 JANUARY 2019 -- To kick off the 2019 UP NIGS (National Institute of Geological Sciences) Lecture Series, Balik Scientist Dr. Daniel Ibarra of Stanford University gave a talk entitled, "The Influence of Erosion, Lithology, and Plants on Weathering."

Dr. Ibarra is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Department of Geological Sciences in Stanford University. He is hosted by UP NIGS and is currently a part of the Balik Scientist Program (BSP) of DOST.

The Balik Scientist Program (BSP) is a brain-gain initiative to encourage Filipino scientists, technologists, and experts in other countries to return to the Philippines and share their expertise to accelerate scientific, agro-industrial, economic, and human resources development in the country. For more info, visit


DOST-MIRDC and DOST-ITDI are in search of a logo and slogan for the country's first ADVANCED MANUFACTURING CENTER (AMCen)!
DOST is set to unveil the Philippines' first Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing Center which aspires to be the country's leading research center in innovative 3D printing technologies, processes, and materials. This will be one of the first government-led centers in the ASEAN region that aspires to be a game changer leading to Industry 4.0 goals

Entries must be submitted in hard copy to the Office of the Chief, Materials Science Division of DOST-ITDI and in vector (.svg or .png) format to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Deadline: 22 February 2019



CALL FOR PAPERS AND POSTERS for the first International Nanotechnology Conference in the Philippines!
Submit your abstracts/papers here:
Deadline : 15 February 2019

If you have inquiries, contact the conference's secretariat at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / (+632) 837-2071 local 2203 or 2196



15 JANUARY 2019 -- The Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) achieved Maturity Level 2 from the Civil Service Commission, under the commission's Program to Institutionalize Meritocracy and Excellence in Human Resource Management (PRIME-HRM).

CSC assessed these four core HR systems of PCIEERD: (1) Recruitment, Selection, and Placement; (2) Learning and Development; (3) Rewards and Recognition; and (4) Performance Management.

PRIME-HRM aims to elevate public sector human resource management to a level of excellence through the assessment, assistance, and awarding processes of HRM systems, practices, and competencies using HRM maturity level indicators that are at par with global HRM standards.