A story of culture and science: Bauko’s Ceramic Water Filter


TRADITIONAL MEETS MODERN. The traditional pottery skills of the locals in Bila, Bauko are used in making ceramic water filters to address waterborne diseases in the municipality. (JJPM-PIA CAR)

Old and new, traditional and modern — these pair of words contradict each other but just as east meets west, one barangay in Bauko has found a way to bring culture and science together to benefit communities.

Looking back at tradition

Pottery in Bila, Bauko traces way back before the Spanish came looking for the Igorot gold.

“Bila is one of the early villages in the Cordillera that the Spanish recorded and pottery was already an economic activity,” shared Bauko Tourism Officer Arsenia Addon.

Through the barter system, pottery products from Bila have reached the lowlands in exchange of tobacco and salt.

Addon added the pots originally used as “pananuman” (water storage) and “panengdengan” (for cooking),  are  in some ways, a reflection of the way of life of the Kankanaey in Bila during the olden times.

altLEVEL UP. These candle-type ceramic water filters are infused with Nanosilver which kills microoganisms making water safe for drinking. (JJM-PIA CAR)

Responding to modern-day challenges

Climate change, water shortage, and various health concerns – these are some realities of the modern world that the innovation inspired by the traditional pottery of Bila addresses.

Engr. Namar Gawaban of the Municipal Planning  and Development Office explained that waterborne diseases are among the top morbidities in the municipality.

Tests done in the 22 barangays of Bauko showed “water sources already contain coliform and is positive of E. coli bacteria,” Local Economic and Investment Promotion Officer Jake Oyang-o said.

The presence of E.coli bacteria in  the town’s water sources poses risks especially on the health of residents.

Recognizing the issue, the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Bauko and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) came up with the Ceramic Water Filter in 2013.

Minirva Songaben of DOST Mountain Province explained that the project is in line with DOSTÂ’s thrust on water sanitation, one of the five entry points of science and technology.

Having been tested before, BilaÂ’s clay passed the requirements for the Ceramic Water Filter technology patented by the Industrial Development Institution of DOST.

Ceramic water filter — how it works?

The Ceramic Water Filtration System is made up of six parts – the cover, ceramic water filter, upper bucket, plastic hook, and the lower bucket.

Tap water is first put into the upper bucket. The water then trickles down and passes through the ceramic water filter which is infused with Nanosilver.

Nanosilver is an antibacterial technology that kills microorganisms making the water safe for drinking.

With a capacity of two liters and filtration rate at two liters per hour, the ceramic water filter is easy to carry especially for those who work in gardens and farms.

The portable ceramic water filter is also useful during emergencies.

“This is very good for LGUs during disasters because our community will have potable water to drink,” Oyang-o recommended.

altEMPOWERING COMMUNITIES THROUGH S&T. Local Economic and Investment Promotion Officer Jake Oyang-o explains how the ceramic water filter is helpful to LGUs during disasters. (JJPM-PIA CAR)

Towards healthier and wealthier communities

Not only bringing healthier options for the community, the Ceramic Water Filter technology also provides livelihood for the locals.

 “Uray haan kami mapan nga agbirok ti trabaho mi iti sabali nga ili ket adda met ditoy Bila mismo,” said Maribeth Popoten who is an employee of the ceramic water filter project.

A fourth class municipality, Bauko sees great potential in the project which is receiving orders not only around the region but from other parts of the country as well.

Oyang-o said DOST has recently purchased and distributed 990 pieces of ceramic water filter for their Empowering Communities Through Science and Technology Program in Paracelis, Mountain Province.

With orders in the pipeline, the municipality hopes for the sustainability of the ceramic water filter which helps create healthier and wealthier communities.

Source: https://pia.gov.ph/news/articles/1020990

Other News from CAR

DOST showcases technologies for DRRM
Posted: Saturday, September 21, 2019
Philippine Information Agency BAGUIO CITY, Sept. 20 (PIA) - -The Department of Science and Technology in the Cordillera region (DOST-CAR) showcased science - based technologies for disaster...   read full story

DOST calibrates weighing scales of gov't hospitals, RHUs in Ifugao
Posted: Monday, September 02, 2019
LAGAWE, Ifugao, Aug. 31 (PIA)- -Technicians from the Regional Standards and Testing Laboratory or the Metrology Laboratory of the Department of Science and Technology-Cordillera Administrative Region ...   read full story

Regional soil, plant and water lab opens at Benguet State U
Posted: Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Science for the People.  Cordillera Soil, Plant and Water Laboratory stakeholders during the unveiling of the facility marker. (from left to right) DOST - CAR RD Dr. Nancy Bantog, DOST - PCAARRD Act...   read full story

DOST installs STARBOOKS in 21 Kalinga schools
Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2019
Crystal Joy Tayab of DOST-CAR installs STARBOOKS software at St. Theresita School-Tabuk library.  CITY  OF TABUK, Kalinga,  May 13 (PIA) --Twenty one schools in the province have now online researc...   read full story