Are Philippine marine waters contaminated with microplastics? A research presentation during the Central Visayas – Regional Development Research Council (CV-RDRC) meeting revealed that microplastics are indeed found in the Philippine marine waters.
Mr. Jon Alfonso P. Horvidalla, Science Research Specialist and study leader of the project, “Microplastic Contamination Determination of Selected Water Bodies in the Philippines” confirmed the presence of microplastics and disclosed that Tañon Strait Protected Seascape in Badian and Moalboal,
Cebu has the highest density of microplastics among the ten (10) study areas established nationwide.
RDRC recently invited the Coastal Resources and Ecotourism Research, Development and Extension Center (CRERDEC) to present the results of the said research study on ‘Microplastic Contamination Determination’ last September 29, 2021, via zoom.
The Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) through CRERDEC spearheaded the conduct of the study in determining the presence of microplastics on different marine waters in the Philippines.
According to Mr. Horvidalla, such research finding is alarming considering that the presence of microplastics in the study areas could have detrimental effects on the function of the marine ecosystem, particularly coral reefs.
Study sites and sampling points included in the study are Manila Bay, Subic Bay, Lamon Bay, Boracay Island, Taklong Island National Marine Reserve, Tañon Strait Protected Seascape, Davao Gulf, Butuan Bay, Iligan Bay, and the special area, Apo Reef Natural Park.
Study recommendations include a review of the local government unit’s (LGUs) solid waste management plans and streamlining of local policies to reduce microplastic sources and contamination.
Regional Director Efren B. Carreon of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and RDRC Chairperson acknowledged that the results of the CRERDEC study would be very helpful and recommended presenting it to the Environment Committee of NEDA 7.
He likewise pushed for the conduct of further researches within the Taǹon Strait, in collaboration with the higher education institutes.
With the reported harmful effects of microplastics on marine health, Director Carreon also suggested coordinating with local officials to review the municipal’s solid waste management plans, particularly the management of plastic wastes.
CRERDEC Center Head, Dr. Alicia L. Lustica introduced CRERDEC’s Microplastic study during the RDRC meeting held last February 27, 2019.
RDRC recognized the valuable insights shared by Dr. Lustica thus, requested CRERDEC to present the findings and result of the said study. Representatives from the academes, University of San Carlos (USC) and Silliman University, also look forward to presenting their study on Microplastic soon.
The RDRC virtual meeting primarily aimed to discuss the proposed monitoring mechanism of Region 7’s Development Research Agenda.
Director Carreon urged members to pursue seriously the sharing and implementation of more research studies that will serve as bases for improved policies and plans as envisioned in the Regional Development Plan.
Committed to enhancing innovation through knowledge exchange and strategic research collaboration, RDRC prioritized incorporating during meetings the sharing of research studies among council members.
This is to direct and harmonize the use of researches to support plan implementation in the region.
More than forty-(40) RDRC members and representatives participated in the RDRC meeting comprising officials, members, and representatives from the national government agencies, academes, research institutions, and private sectors in Central Visayas. TTPEU-CRERDEC