Through the Office of the Vice President for Research, Development, and Extension (OVPRDE) and College of Science (CS), the Masbate Gold Project (MGP), in collaboration with Filminera Resources Corporation (FRC), Philippine Gold Processing & Refining Corp. (PGPRC), and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) V, has donated environmental research laboratory equipment during the turnover ceremonies held at the CS Building 3, on June 1, 2022.
The research program on the Assessment of the Potential Accumulation, Dispersion, Routes, and Plants Uptake of Lead Contained at Masbate Gold Project Tailings Storage Facility, also known as the “Pb Project,” is a collaborative undertaking of the aforementioned partner institutions. With two major projects covering eight studies, a total of eight faculty researchers are engaged in the activity from 2019 to March 2022.
The event was conducted to give due recognition and gratitude to the funding and support agencies for the realization of the research program and jointly sign the deed of donation and acceptance of both parties. Present were Dr. Luis O. Amano, Vice President for Research, Development, and Extension, Dr. Myra O. Villareal, DOST-PCHRD Balik Scientist, Prof. Jocelyn E. Serrano, Dean of the BU College of Science, Prof. Phil V. Morano, Natural Science Laboratory Coordinator, Engr. Geronimo C. Badulis, Jr., Resident Manager of MGP-PGRPRC-FRC, Engr. Audie M. Altiche, Environmental Manager of MGP-PGPRC-FRC, and Ms. Arlene E. Dayao, Chief Geologist of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and Geosciences Bureau V (DENR-MGB V).
It was also attended by the program staff headed by its program leader, Prof. Maria Crispina P. Baltazar, the Deans and Directors from the different colleges and units, faculties and other researchers.
The action-cum research program is an ongoing-research undertaking of the university which was officially launched last April 1, 2019, funded by MGP/FRC/PGPRC, and in collaboration with DENR-MGB V. Several laboratory, office, and sampling equipment were purchased and provided by the funding agency to facilitate the program implementation.
The laboratory equipment housed at the College of Science Building 3 Room 101 includes the analytical balance, laboratory oven, refrigerator, sieve shaker, and other laboratory glassware, providing a more precise and reliable laboratory analysis for the conduct of the studies. Sediment and water samplers were also provided and these have made the on-site collection easier, ensuring a more accurate sample collection.
With this additional laboratory equipment, it becomes possible for the university to conduct more researches that will need these new facilities while bringing service to students and other researchers in terms of instruction and extension.
The research program was initially under the leadership of BUCS faculty Prof. Michael V. Montealegre with three projects dealing with focus on the use of lead nitrate. The program plays an important role in the planning for rehabilitation and closure purposes of the mining operation.
In March 2020, the country went through strict lockdown due to the pandemic. Thus, the research team were not able to proceed with their planned activities. An extension was requested and approved in order to finish the program with only two remaining projects which started last July 2021, and with a new Program Leader, Prof. Maria Crispina P. Baltazar, Director of the Bicol University Regional Center for Food Safety and Quality Assurance.
The current program involves (9) faculty researchers. Project 1 is headed by Prof. Kimbhierly M. Ludovice (BUCS) with Prof. Michael V. Montealegre (BUCS), Prof. Ivane N. Malaluan (BUCS), Prof. Magnolia Vida A. Cano (BUCS), Prof. Kent Andrew B. Llamson (BURCFSQA), and Prof. Jocelyn E. Serrano (BUCS) as the study leaders. Meanwhile, Project 2 is under the leadership of Prof. Baltazar with Prof. Ma. Corazon B. Barrameda (BUCS) and Prof. Kenneth N. Nacional (BUEMD) as the study leaders. The program also hired two research assistants and a program management coordinator to ensure the smooth implementation of the program. The program is expected to be completed by the end of June 2022. (prepared by Kent Andrew Llamson and Maria Crispina Baltazar, BUCS)