BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
With the completion and operationalization of its P200 million distillery waste treatment facility in Brgy. Purisima, Manapla, Negros Occidental, to address environmental concerns raised previously by residents in the area and even by some environmentalists, the Victorias Milling Company went further by introducing new environmental initiatives within the distillery plant.
VMC Chief Manufacturing Officer Linley Retirado yesterday said they have already addressed the environmental issues raised against the distillery plant by putting up and upgrading projects related to environmental protection and mitigating measures.
Anne Tionko, VMC Corporate Communication head, disclosed the company used state of art equipment and technology to address environmental issues since 2019.
The natural lagoon, which used to be a waste water dumping area of the previous owner of the facility, has already been transformed by VMC into fishponds.
“We already level up to aeration ponds,” disclosed Retirado, stressing that discharges now come in the form of liquid fertilizer which is being distributed to sugar farmers within the area for free.
To ensure a zero-waste generation, the VMC management establishedanaerobic digesters to further reduce odor-causing bacteria by more than 50 percent.
Anaerobic digesters process distillery wastes into liquid fertilizer.
Moving forward, Retirado said they are now developing a technology for mixing liquid and solid fertilizers for commercial purposes.
As to other concerns raised against the company, Retirado said they are conducting regular public consultations through the barangay, and engaging in CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), aside from conducting outreach programs such as medical consultations.
VMC is now in the construction stage of a P50 million biogas project, which is expected to be fully operational by September 2023, he added.*