The “Environment Program” covers education, extension, capacity building, research and development on the conservation and protection of natural resources. Also, it includes prevention of contamination from anthropogenic activities, and engineering solution for control, treatment and remediation of contaminated sites. These are some of the activities which Mapúa envisioned to provide solution/s to societal problems.
Mapúa actively supports the environmental initiatives of the government. SOCIP/Mapúa – NSTP actively participates in the tree planting program of its mother company Yuchengco Group of Companies. It makes an inventory of the tree planting site at Tanay, Rizal in November 2016. The area covers three hectares planted with narra trees.
Students and faculty members designed a material recovery facility (MRF) for Barangay 836, Pandacan, Manila. MRF is a requirement for local government units under RA 9003 known as the ‘Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.” This facility serves as the area for food waste composting and segregation of recyclable wates. This activity is part of its extension service pursued by the Mapúa through the office of SOCIP.
Another activities that were carried out were a joint research project together with three government agencies (i.e., Laguna Lake Development Authority, Pasig River Rehabilitation Center, Philippine Coast Guard) and one foreign university, the Global Water Quality Research Center (GWQRC) of the College of Engineering of National Cheng Kung University.
This joint project was executed by the team from Environmental Engineering Graduate Programs of Mapúa headed by Dr. Delia B. Senoro together with the MS and PhD students focuses on the assessment of cyanobacteria (commonly called “blue-green algae”).
The GWQRC team came to Manila to join the team of Dr. Senoro for the assessment and analyses, bring along a mobile laboratory. The joint research project find out the abundance of cyanobacteria in the Laguna Lake and Pasig River and at alarming toxic concentrations (i.e., microcystins). Also, there is abundance of taste and odor (T & O) producing genes (2-MIB) of cyanobacteria in the lake. This information is useful for the research direction in making a research framework, strategies for the management of surface water and in making relevant policies for the sustainable environment.
Currently, a water utility company (who is withdrawing water from the lake for domestic supply) has expressed interest to fund for a bigger and comprehensive study for the improvement of the water quality and enhancement of their water quality treatment operations.