In connection with the celebration of the 12th National Biotechnology Week (NBW), the ERDB conducted the “Forum on phytoremediation of mined –out areas” which was held at the Bureau of Soil and Water Management (BSWM) Auditorium on Nov. 23, 2016. The annual weeklong celebration had the theme “Yakapin ang Pagbabago, Biotek na Tayo, Bioteknolohiya: Kaagapay sa Pangkalahatang Kaunlaran”.

ERDB Director Henry Adornado gave the welcome remarks. He invited everyone to look at the exhibit and request for IEC materials that they can use in their respective offices.

Ms. Veronica O. Sinohin, TTD Chief gave the overview of the activity and a brief background of the National Biotechnology Week celebration.

Engr. Rodolfo L. Velasco, Jr., Chief of the Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) presented the mission and vision of their office.

For. Paul Cuadra, Supv. Science Research Specialist of ERDB tackled the topic "Phytoremediation of Mined-Out Areas: Itogon, Benguet Experience”. In their research, 5 species were used in rehabilitating the mine waste area which were as follows: agoho. Benguet pine, kupang, batino and narra. The study found out that agoho is a resilient species that thrives and grows even in adverse conditions of a mine waste area. Batino had the lowest average survival. This was done with the application of Mycorrhiza (ERDB’s HiQ Vam technology) and topsoil management.

The second presentor was For. Gregorio E. Santos,Jr., Supv. Science Research Specialist of ERDB. He presented the topic “Phytoremediation of Mined-Out Areas: The Bagacay, Samar Experience”. Based on their experiment, they found that the combination of forest soil, lime and organic fertilizer (chicken dung) proved to be the best treatment among the six various soil treatments they conducted.

Several questions were asked including the issue on which must given more importance, the mining or rehabilitation of the environment. Engr. Velasco answered the question by explaining that there are different mitigating measures to ensure the balance between taking care of the environment and earning profit. For. Paul Cuadra also mentioned that the rehabilitation of mining areas aspect must be serious and mining companies should also invest in people in their rehabilitation efforts.

Ms. Nery Alba, Chief of the Urban, Toxic and Hazardous Waste Research Center gave the closing remarks. She said, “Let us join hands in rehabilitating the mined-out areas and let us have a commitment in saving the environment”. Marla V. Cambay TTD