A researcher in Zamboanga City had recently received a grant worth Five-Hundred Ninety-six Thousand, Eight-Hundred Eighteen Pesos and Fifty centavos (₱596,818.50) to develop studies on the potential health hazards of the different types of microplastics found in the top five (5) most marketed fish in selected wet markets of Zamboanga City.
Leading the study is Dr. Servando D. Halili Jr., a scholar of Fulbright Research Fellowship from 2009 to 2010 in Colorado, USA. The Fulbright Advanced Research and University Lecturing Program, is a scholarship for researchers and professors for the implementation of their own research projects at American Universities, a non-profit research institutes and government institutions. He is a doctorate degree holder of American Culture Studies from Bowling Green State University in 2003, a graduate of Master of Arts in Literature from Ateneo de Manila University in 1994, and a product of Mindanao State University – Marawi with a degree in Education.
Awarded by the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) through the Zamboanga Council for Health Research and Development – Regional Research Fund (ZCHRD-RRF), the funding will be used to further research in determining the types, abundance, and characteristics of microplastics found in the gut and tissue of the fishes.
The grant will be utilized to obtain the necessary provisions, supplies and materials, and chemical reagents for the numerous preparations and test solutions to determine the various microplastics present in the fishes. Microplastics, as defined by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are small pieces of plastic that pollute the environment. These plastics are not a specific kind of plastic, but rather any type of plastic fragment that is less than 5 mm in length.
A survey will be conducted in order to determine the top five (5) most commonly sold fishes in wet markets in Zamboanga City. These markets are located in Magay, Sta. Cruz, Guiwan, Upper Calarian, and Sangali through stratified sampling. The participants to the survey are fish vendors regardless of age and gender.
Halili’s study on the determination of microplastics present in the five most commonly sold fishes in Zamboanga City becomes the fourth research funded locally through the ZCHRD-RRF. Results of the study are expected to guide policy makers in regulating the production, utilization, and disposal of single used plastics in the city.
The DOST, through its various R&D councils, provides funding for studies in designing, implementing, and managing research projects.
Regular staff and faculty members of research institutes, medical and allied health sciences, hospitals, and other health-related agencies are encouraged to submit research proposals to the ZCHRD secretariat via electronic mail.