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DOST FPRDI turns over microbial soap to Siquijor province

Rural Health Unit San Juan is a recipient of microbial soap from FPRDI with Engr. Mario de la Peña (right) . (DOST-Siquijor)

As part of the collective strategy, commitment, and initiative of the different agencies to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 virus, the DOST FPRDI chipped in its expertise in formulating a microbial soap to serve as a disinfectant hand soap.

On Dec. 9, 2021, a team from DOST Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI) came to Siquijor province to distribute its brand of microbial soap.  

A day of its three-day visit, as requested by Engr. Mario de la  Peña, was allotted for a demonstration on microbial soap-making for the beneficiaries.  

In a way, it also served as a campaign to consider it a livelihood prospect or alternative.    

The demo took place on Dec. 9, 2021 at the GAD Building in Siquijor, Siquijor attended by DOST-Siquijor CEST beneficiaries, a youth group, a bamboo-furniture maker, and a soap maker from Pangi, Siquijor. 

A total of 32 participants representing nine women’s associations or farmers’ association, as well as youth and cooperative members also attended.  

Each attendee will bring home his or her finished product plus that given by FPDRI. 

The list of recipients of microbial soap included the following: Inegrated Provincial Health Office (received by Dr. Walthrode Opay); six Rural Health Units; youth sector, KAPANIG and WONDER of Cangmunag San Juan; CCMPC of Catulayan, San Juan; BISMACOFA of Bitaug Enrique Villanueva; Cantugbas Women's Association of Maria; Triple M Farmers Association of Lazi; a bamboo-furniture maker of Siquijor; Soap Makers Group of Pangi, Siquijor; Siquijor Sewers Association; and the youth group managed by Sangguniang Kabataan Prvincial Federation (SKPF) President Brylle Deeiah Tumarong.

“This demo on microbial soap making is like hitting two birds with one stone.  First, it is a relevant response to booster our strict observance on the health protocol of sanitation, and second, it serves as a good platform for a business venture,” Tumarong said.


RHU Maria equally stands as a grateful beneficiary of FPRDI. (DOST-Siquijor)

The antimicrobial liquid hand soap is formulated using cinnamon (Cinnamomum mercadoi Vidal) and bamboo-activated carbon, with lavender and Manila elemi oil scents.

The hand bar soaps, meanwhile, use bamboo charcoal (Bambusa sp), bamboo-activated carbon, sapang (Caesalpinia sappan L.) and tawa tawa (Euphorbia hirta L.), with eucalyptus oil scent

“The results of DOST-FPRDI’s previous and on-going studies on bamboo charcoal and bamboo-activated carbon have been useful in making these personal care products,” shared research team leader Dr. Jennifer Tamayo.

“The bamboo-activated carbon helps remove microorganisms, such as germs, by absorbing them. While the Institute has yet to study sapang and tawa tawathoroughly, available literature points to their antimicrobial properties," she added.

The institute has also prepared anti-microbial hand mists for disinfecting hands in the absence of soap and water.

The hand mists are made from cinnamon, a proven natural disinfectant, and infused with either lavender or Manila elemi oil scent.

According to Tamayo, bioassay testing and sensory test are now being done to further study the products.

DOST-FPRDI aims to partner with local bamboo-based companies to speed up the manufacture of these anti-microbial soaps.

“Maintaining personal hygiene, such as through washing and sanitizing of hands, is deemed an important step in preventing the spread of diseases. As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in some areas of the country, DOST-FPRDI will look for more ways to help protect the public against this global pandemic," she said. 

Early part of the year, when the pandemic struck deadliest, the DOST Provincial Office distributed face shields to frontliners and relief goods to DOST MSMEs.

On behalf of the Province of Siquijor, DOST Siquijor expresses its heartfelt thanks and gratitude for including the Province of Siquijor as one of FPRDI's demo sites aside from NCR, Region 6, Region IX, and for the recipients of the microbial soap from the different associations and the six RHUs and a hospital in the province. (PR/Engr. Mario De la Peña and Jose Aldous Arbon II)

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Rizalie Calibo

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Region 7

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