DOST official bags BCYF Innovation Award for advancing water security in Mimaropa

Published July 29, 2021, 11:42 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Mimaropa Regional Director Dr. Ma. Josefina P. Abilay has been conferred with the Benita and Catalino Yap Foundation (BCYF) Innovation Award (BIA) for Government Service category for bringing innovative water technology solutions to address water scarcity in the region.

(Photo from DOST-Mimaropa)

The virtual awarding ceremony was held on July 23, 2021.

“Being recognized by BCYF, I hope that this can further inspire other organizations, particularly government agencies, to instill deeper involvement in innovation in serving the people,” Abilay said in her message at the 2021 BCYF Innovation Awards.

Through Abilay’s leadership, DOST-Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) has empowered geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDA) by providing them water technologies to overcome water scarcity in the region.

These technologies include solar-powered water pumping, purification and filtration systems, rainwater collector/harvester with filtration system, and water desalination.

“The impacts of water scarcity affect families and their communities far beyond the stories we hear and see. Without easily accessible basic water services, our people’s true potential to be productive citizens are limited, and they can become trapped in poverty for generations,” the BCYF Innovation recipient said.

DOST-Mimaropa’s interventions benefited 10 communities which houses more than 1,900 households, or 9,500 individuals in the region

“Some of these communities have saved about P91,000 per month, equivalent to the transport cost of having their daily water requirement for domestic consumption delivered,” it said.

Among the projects launched by DOST-Mimaropa are the following:

-Solar-powered water pumping system with filtration and treatment facility in Concepcion, Romblon

-Solar-powered Water Pumping Station on Maniwaya Island, Sta. Cruz, Marinduque

-Solar Water Purification System in Dumaran, Palawan

“When a community gains access to clean water, more time will be spent to focus on education and livelihood, and people are free from water-borne diseases,” Abilay said.

She said they are seeking to scale up the agency’s interventions to provide appropriate innovative water technologies to more people and communities in the region.

She bared the agency’s partnership with the Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) Malaysia and Palawan State University to conduct a research and development (R&D) optimization project on Photovoltaic (PV)-assisted Solar Desalination System to explore the possibility of using local and low-cost parts well-suited for small island communities and coastal areas.

(Photo from DOST-Mimaropa)

“To drive greater impact, we made sure to work with the local government units, academe, and even local and international organizations to combine our areas of expertise,” the DOST-Mimaropa regional director said.

Abilay was among the finalists in the first BCY Foundation Innovation Awards for Government Service Category held in 2017 for promoting the Solar Energy System to enhance healthcare services while mitigating the impacts of climate change in the region.

The BCYF Innovation Awards recognize organizations and individuals in the areas of government service, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), education, technology, and industry, which have made a difference in the lives of others through innovations.

It is part of BCYF’s Comprehensive Social Development Program, which consists of research, education, events, and developmental social enterprise.