BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The country’s largest sugar producer Victorias Milling Company (VMC) has completed installing new facilities to adopt various measures in pollution prevention and control.
VMC, in a press statement, said after the distillery shutdown in June to August, the company has installed pollution control measures amounting to P200 million, rehabilitated lagoons and planted trees as their commitment to protect the environment.
Engineer Sherwin Bacanto, Plant Manager of VMC Distillery in Manapla said they are no longer utilizing the natural lagoon as part of their operations.
The company has totally disconnected to the natural lagoons and started rehabilitating it as a pollution control measure.
Earlier this year, some residents have expressed their complaints about the alleged illegal dumping by VMC of its alcohol distillery’s wastewater into a river.
“We have completed our new facilities like vacuum distillation that reduces 30 percent of our process stream volume. We have completed our new anaerobic digester that ensures all process stream are treated. We have completed our new, world class ponds that totally disconnected the distillery to the natural lagoons,” Bacanto said.
He added that there is zero-waste discharge to waterways now and recent visits proved there is no more odor emanating from the distillery.
The plant re-opened in September and has been visited by the monitoring body and pertinent agencies like the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau, Department of Agriculture and the local government unit (LGU).
The plant manager said, “We are happy to hear feedbacks from the community that our roadmap on environmental commitments are already showing positive results”.
“We assure everyone that we will not allow any threat to the environment not being addressed and resolved. We continue to be partners in protecting the environment as we support community towards economic recovery from this pandemic,” Bacanto added.
The company also said that the top management has ensured that they abide with all the requirements required by law.
VMC has been producing 60,000 liters of alcohol a day to provide alcohol to LGUs in Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental and Panay.