PGIN, DOST strive for cleaner Paoay Lake thru Vigormin


Feb. 21, 2023 ...

The Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN), through the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office, received on February 17 a ton of Vigormin from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) as aid in lowering the coliform level in the Paoay Lake waterpark.

Vigormin is an odorless, white powder composed of various organo-minerals that has the capability to neutralize odor as well as the mucky color in wastewater or septic waters. Its application significantly improves water quality based on the standards set by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

According to Engr. Benjamin Mercado Jr., Provincial Director of DOST-Ilocos Norte, the use of Vigormin can help prevent a further increase in water contamination with E. coli bacteria in the waterpark.

This effort is consistent with the provincial government's assertive push for environmental compliance, particularly in the province's key tourist areas, to "green" their operations.

"It's been a continuous effort to develop not just this specific area but the entire lake, and with this protection of the lake, we all know it is a national park, and we try to continue maintaining the status and preserving the lake for tourism," Mr. Xavier Ruiz of the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office highlighted during the Vigormin distribution.

As of now, the Vigormin products were distributed to five local establishments around Paoay Lake namely; Malacañang of the North, Kamarin Café, Jowtoo, Bellagio Hills, and the Paoay Lake Water Resort.

DOST representatives also demonstrated to operators of local establishments the utilization of the solution, which must be flushed down toilets, and advised them to use it for at least nine (9) weeks.

Under the supervision of Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc, the tourism office had successfully implemented precautionary measures prior to the establishment of the waterpark. The Provincial Government, in collaboration with villagers and communities around the lake, has likewise agreed to a monthly clean-up for prevention and control of the coliform level.

Based on the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of Region I's latest monitoring, the lake is safe for swimming after it recorded only the 33 most likely numbers of coliform-group organisms per 100 ml.

The PGIN is hopeful that with science and technology interventions from partner agencies, the lake's water quality will further improve, as the Paoay Lake waterpark has been playing a key role in reviving the province's tourism industry amid the pandemic.