The Department of Tourism (DOT) and the West Zone concessionaire Maynilad Water Services, Inc. (Maynilad) launched a wastewater management campaign to help raise public awareness about environmental protection and sustainable tourism.
"DOT is happy to collaborate with Maynilad for this campaign. This is very timely as the current health crisis highlights the critical importance of sanitation and hygiene," Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said during the virtual signing of the Memorandum of Understanding.
Maynilad is the largest private water concessionaire in the Philippines in terms of customer base.
Under the "Maynilad Kubeta PH X, It's More Fun in the Philippines" partnership, the DOT and Maynilad will award the Seal of Good Toilet-keeping to 24 tourist destinations such as parks, historical sites, and restaurants within the Maynilad service area.
The Seal affirms the importance of keeping toilets clean and comfortable for tourists and the general public and the need to comply with relevant laws and regulations regarding wastewater management.
It also serves as a reminder to tourists and the public about responsible toilet use to promote sustainable tourism.
"Thus, promoting quality, clean, and safe toilets in tourist destinations will also contribute to our efforts to restart tourism activity in our country gradually," Puyat stressed.
"For tourism, public toilets are crucial. These should not be only clean but also safe and comfortable for tourists to use. Simple as it may seem, but toilets could make or break a tourist's travel experience," she added.
The Seal is an offshoot of the Golden Kubeta Awards. It is part of the efforts to encourage public establishments to keep their toilets consistently clean and comfortable and comply with wastewater-related regulations.
Puyat also highlighted the ASEAN Public Toilet Standard (APTS). It aims to ensure that public toilets at tourist destinations in the region are clean, provide comfort and safety, and practices proper waste management.
"The program recognizes facilities that meet the four main criteria: design and environmental management system; amenities and facilities; cleanliness, and safety," she said.
Meanwhile, Maynilad President and CEO Ramoncito S. Fernandez said, "When Maynilad launched Kubeta PH back in 2016, we had one goal in mind – to bring conversations about proper wastewater management to the mainstream. We continue to raise wastewater awareness through this campaign, and this partnership with DOT will help us reach more people."
The Seal of Good Toilet-keeping is the newest component of Maynilad's Kubeta PH campaign, integrated information, education, and communication campaign that aims to spur positive action from various stakeholders on wastewater management.