THE National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) proposed on Thursday to rehabilitate degraded mining sites by deploying microbes into the soil, a process called bioremediation.
“There are 50 active metallic mines that will surely become mined out or (contaminated with) mine tailings if there is no responsible mining. That means we will have more abandoned mines,” according to Dr. Nelly S. Aggangan, lead researcher of a study commissioned by the NRCP.
Ms. Aggangan was presenting her 2017 study, “Greening Mined-out Areas in the Philippines,” during the NRCP-Legislative Scientific Forum for Policy Development.
The study, conducted in mine-tailing areas in Mogpog, Marinduque, recommended bioremediation to rehabilitate abandoned mining sites. The process involved the use of microbial fertilizers on degraded soil.
“There is an urgent need to address degradation to reduce health risks from heavy metals contaminating water, food, and air,” she added.
Ms. Aggangan also said biofertilizers are affordable at P100 per kilogram, compared to much higher costs for reforestation put forward by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
In the same forum, the Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department (CPBRD) highlighted the need for “evidenced-based” policy-making in Congress.
“It’s important that policy be based on scientific evidence,” CPBRD Director-General Romulo E. M. Miral, Jr. said.
House Legislative Operations Department (LOD) Bill Drafting Service Director and lawyer Jose Noel A. Garong said links need to be strengthened between researchers and policymakers.
“The problem is that many people on the policy side are lawyers, with low awareness levels of the scientific issue. So it is good that from time to time the CPBRD provides us with studies that we can use in drafting measures,” Mr. Garong said. — Charmaine A. Tadalan