BINONDO, MANILA. The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) through Marine Environmental Protection Command (MEPCOM) has now mobilized its Marine Science Technicians (MST) assigned at Marine Science Investigation Force (MSIF), formerly Marine Research Development Center (MERDC) to conduct port and ballast water baselines using ecological, microbiological and Environmental DNA (eDNA) approaches or PORTEC PROJECT and also known as Ballast Water and Biofouling Management Research Program (SAILS). The ports in Manila Bay, Bicol, Davao and Cebu were selected as the sites of said project.

SAILS is a two-year collaborative research program of the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD), University of the Philippines (UP) Manila, UP Diliman, Bicol University, University of Immaculate Conception, PCG and MARINA. The output of the research will serve as a guide for the MARINA and PCG in policy making for the implementation of Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC) and the Anti-Fouling Systems Convention (AFS) within the Philippine maritime jurisdiction.

Moreover, the PCG MST in this collaboration are being trained technically. After the termination of the project, the PCG as mandated by International and National laws, rules and regulations will continue to conduct marine research baseline gathering to protect the marine resources from invasive species and pathogens in ballast water from ships.

MSIF Marine Science Technicians (MSTs) together with their respective partner academe used Refractometer and Pro DSS Multi-Parameter Water Quality Meter or YSI while those who have no portable water quality analysis equipment collected marine water samples for laboratory analysis to determine its physio-chemical parameters as one of the SAILS series of processes. PICES collectors were also inspected for any damage and progress on the collected marine organisms.