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Cycle 7 (2018 Deadline)

Baselining persistent and emerging organic pollutant levels in environmental and engineered systems (PEOPLES) for healthy Philippines

PI: Caroline Jaraula (, Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines
U.S. Partner: Diana Aga, Institute of Chemistry, University at Buffalo, State University of New York
Project dates: November 2018 - October 2020

Project Overview

The overall goal of this project is to increase the number of wastewater treatment plants sampled for antibiotics analyses, then expand the sampling to point sources and into the receiving river and marine environments. This will provide baseline data to identify critical areas that will be prioritized for further data acquisition and analyses for a combined engineered and natural wastewater plan that is useful for local governments and organizations to leverage further detailed planning and application for business-government partnerships.

Project objectives:
  1. Consolidate watershed and basin information from various academic, local government sectors, and literature as a map focusing on land-use, locations of point sources (e.g. livestock farms, pharmaceutical industries, hospitals, urban or agricultural or industrial drainage, and landfill) in the study areas.
  2. Collect data on current or planned size, type, and wastewater treatments in various business, municipal, and provincial establishments.
  3. Determine antibiotics type & concentrations in influent, effluent & in-between treatment in wastewater treatment plants (e.g. Maynilad, Manila Water facilities, Baliwag), terrestrial & marine environments of Davao, Manila & Cagayan de Oro, Philippines, as stipulated & standardized in NSF PIRE HEARD.
  4. Determine persistent (i.e. pesticides) organic pollutants in the watershed & coastal areas of the proposed sites.
  5. Characterize possible sources &/or end-member assemblages of pollutants in various matrices (agricultural, urban, industrial, land-fill, feces, etc).
  6. Detect antibiotic resistant genes.
This study along with PIRE HEARD are anticipated to lay the foundation for environmental monitoring of antibiotics in the Philippines, as AMR is not just a national, but a global issue. Materials produced from workshops will be incorporated in existing courses in the University of the Philippines Diliman and Mindanao Campuses, and if substantially developed, a new course can be instigated. This research project will provide baseline information on effluents so that proper government policies and community action can be done to quantify and manage these challenges. The team will also explore the possibility of including antibiotic analyses in the self-monitoring reports of establishments to the DENR on an annual basis, however, training of government personnel & analytical capability of LGUs are more urgent before any implementation can be initiated.

This research supports USAID Philippines' Development Objectives by providing baseline knowledge so that proper government policies and community action can be taken to quantify and manage related environmental and governance challenges.

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