Mapecon going green with exterminating pests-A A +A
Sunday, September 29, 2013
GREAT inventions come from humble beginnings, love for nature, and the country.
Gonzalo “Jun” Catan Jr., the 76-year-old inventor from Luzon, has lived life with this principle to prove to the world that his inventions couldn’t only drive away pests but also lessen the effects of global warming.
As the 17th National Urban Pest Control week has been celebrated at SM City mall this weekend, Catan takes pride of his products being the nation’s largest and the leader in pest control.
The annual conference and exhibition carries the theme “Observance of Zero Waste and Zero Pest Laws in Food Establishments, Urban and Agricultural Areas Means Strong Nations” to promote self-reliance and sustainability in the local urban pest control industry and prevent importation of products.
Setting the standards
Following food safety and quality systems using local yet effective award-winning green technologies, Catan’s company, Mapecon Philippines, sets the standards to effectively contain pests and disease outbreaks and minimize contamination while cognizant of its important role in the proper implementation of hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP).
Catan known also as the “man in suspenders” loves nature. In 1955, he got his first award for having the best garden in the entire high school. Obsessed with his beautiful garden, Catan wanted to preserve it from unwanted pests without sacrificing the environment.
A natural inventor, Catan started inventing pesticide made of recycled organic materials, citing that the market today is filled with pesticide-treated and chemically grown foods that led to health problems, including cancer.
Hungry for more information, Catan pursued his research to satisfy his craving for better mixture of products that will benefit the country.
With a P400 initial capital, Catan started the Manila Pest Control in January 1961.
He started by proposing free trial services for one month to customers. He then bought a sprayer and duster on terms. He worked mostly at night.
During those days, established companies provided services for the control of just a few insects while he offered a complete service to get rid of all insects, including rats and other pests.
After a month of trials, he signed contract with four customers who were impressed with the results of his services – the Manila Hotel, the Manila Times Publishing Company, the Jai-Alai Building and the Safari Restaurant. With 60 percent of the payments he received as profit, he was able to resign from his job and concentrate on building the company.
By 1962, Mapecon had 300 customers and 19 employees.
Catan continued to attract clients by giving free demonstrations of his services. He was then able to sign contracts with chain of theaters, a shipping line, and more than 20 restaurants.
Today, Mapecon has grown from a single proprietorship entity to a multimillion-peso corporation with approximately 400 employees nationwide. It has numerous branches all over the country including the provinces of Cebu, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, Davao, Legaspi, Baguio, Palawan, and many others.
Catan’s advocacy did not stop there. He continues to innovate much more to contribute more to the country’s clean environment.
After his many years of research in entomology, Catan established the Mapecon Green Charcoal Philippines, Inc. (MGCPI) in 1990 where the use of the technology is perhaps the solution to say goodbye to diesel fuels that cause harm to humans.
Catan said the new technology will resolve the garbage problem and energy crisis in the country, mainly in small and distant communities which are not reached by electricity.
He said the MGCPI is now producing green charcoal, activated carbon and organic fertilizer coming from plant wastes and a unique set of microorganisms, called MBA 51.
He said it is environment-friendly as it only contains biodegradable waste from water lilies, banana peelings, coconut waste and other plant wastes.
With the new technology Catan explained that green charcoal can generate heat from 6,500 kilo calories (Kcal) to 7,000 Kcal like a steaming thermal coal so it can run power plants and power an entire city as large as Davao that has 700 tons of waste from fruit peelings.
With his great innovations Catan has been known as the “father of green charcoal in the country.”
Recently, Catan’s invention has earned the bronze medal in the 24th Geneva International Exhibits of invention in 1996.
More foreigners have been interested with his products that they wanted to import them.
This green charcoal is my contribution to the Philippines and with the looming power crisis, Catan said.
Catan hoped that the government agencies and private entities will see the benefits of adopting this technology and that Filipino will stop buying imported products and believe in our innovations for us to prosper.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 29, 2013.