And the 'best toilet' in PH can be found in . . .
Far Eastern University (FEU) has the best and the brightest “kubeta” in the Philippines.
FEU, one of the country’s leading universities established by Dr. Nicanor Reyes in 1928, emerged as the big winner in this year’s Golden Kubeta Awards bankrolled by water distributor Maynilad Water Services Inc.
It topped the schools and universities category and won the People’s Choice Award with more than 10,000 social media votes.
Joining FEU in the winners’ circle are the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange in the terminals and stations category, National Museum of Natural History (government offices), and Xentro Mall Polangui (malls and restaurants).
Xentro’s Antipolo branch was last year’s grand winner, besting 13 other finalists in the social media contest that recognizes the best public restrooms in the country.
This year, there was no grand winner—only winners in each of the four categories—due to a rules change that introduced a physical audit component to the judging for the third edition of the Golden Kubeta Awards.
The four winners got the highest final scores, following a rigorous three-step selection process that combined physical audits with social media voting, Maynilad said in a statement.
For the first round, nominations were crowdsourced on social media platforms and posts had to use the hashtag #GoldenKubeta to qualify.
Initial nominees were then asked to provide additional photos of their toilets to make their nominations official.
Those who were able to submit the required additional photos—41 establishments, in this case—moved on to the second round: the physical audit.
A team from the Golden Kubeta Awards visited each of the 41 establishments to do a surprise check of their toilets, as well as conduct interviews with the people managing the establishments regarding their wastewater management practices.
The 41 nominees were then shortlisted to three finalists per category and subjected to online polling via Facebook—the third and final round of the competition.
Voting was done from Nov. 12 to Nov. 15 through the Kubeta PH Facebook community page, with all reactions, excluding sad and angry, counting as votes for each nominated establishment.
All categories had three finalists each, except for government offices, where only one made the cut.
The winners were determined by combining the audit results (80 percent) and social media votes (20 percent).
Maynilad’s Golden Kubeta Awards is an awareness and education campaign that seeks to bring the conversation about proper wastewater management to the mainstream.
It also envisions clean and comfortable public restrooms in business establishments, regardless of type and industry, all over the country.
It is part of the water company’s Kubeta PH campaign, an integrated information, education and communication campaign that aims to spur positive action from all concerned with wastewater management.
The Golden Kubeta Awards is likewise done in conjunction with World Toilet Day, an annual global event organized by the United Nations to spread awareness and prompt action on the global sanitation crisis. (See related story on this page)
Sanitation plays a crucial role in reducing and creating healthier communities and for this year, the World Toilet Day adopted the theme “Leaving No One Behind,” emphasizing the importance of expanding sanitation access here and abroad.
Sanitation for all
The annual celebration also seeks to inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and help achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6, which promises sanitation for all by 2030.
“While serving only the West Zone, we believe it is our duty to help the public understand wastewater management better, in hopes of spurring positive action that will, ultimately, result in the rehabilitation and preservation of our water bodies,” Maynilad president and CEO Ramoncito Fernandez said in his speech during the awards ceremony on Tuesday night.
“We hope that all of you here today will also be our partners in spreading the gospel of proper wastewater management. Our collective effort in ensuring that wastewater is properly treated before being discharged to different bodies of water will ensure a better future for the next generation,” Fernandez said.
Maynilad manages and operates the water and wastewater services in Manila (except San Andres), Pasay, Parañaque, Caloocan, Muntinlupa, Las Piñas, Valenzuela, and parts of Makati and Quezon City, Navotas and Malabon.
Its concession area also covers Cavite City, Bacoor, Imus, Kawit, Noveleta and Rosario in Cavite province.