Cotabato City (18 May 2015) – The Department of Science and Technology of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DOST-ARMM) is addressing the need for potable water in remote communities through ceramic water filter system that “can remove contaminants in drinking water.” Myra Mangkabung, DOST-ARMM secretary, said the ceramic-based water filter can purify tap water, deep well water, and even raw water from ponds and spring. “Through the filters, safe, potable drinking water is readily available and accessible even in remote areas,” Sec. Mangkabung said. DOST-ARMM provided ceramic water filter systems on May 7 and 9 to 78 households in four barangays in the provinces of Sulu and Basilan which have problems in accessing potable water. Sec. Mangkabung said the DOST’s Industrial Technology Development Institute has developed several models of water filters that will address the region’s problems, specifically access to potable water. “Three water filter models have already been developed. These ceramic-based water filters can remove contaminants in drinking water, making them perfect for home use,” Sec. Mangkabung said. Data culled last year showed the most common food and water borne-diseases in the region are diarrhea, with 52 deaths out of 14, 252 cases; typhoid fever, with eight deaths out of 933 cases; and amoebiasis, with four deaths out of 237 cases. Noor-Leila Wahab, water filter focal person, said the device was made from red clay added with nano-antimicrobial agents that can eliminate water-borne organisms. “Researchers said the filtered water from the system passed the Philippine National Standards for Drinking Water in tests or counts for coliform and Escherichia coli, the most common form of water-borne disease-causing microorganisms,” Wahab said. “Silver ions in the filter deactivate and kill the pathogens in the water, including coliform bacteria and protozoa,” she added. Another 200 water filters would be distributed to pre-identified barangays in Tawi-Tawi, Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur this year.