In partnership with University of the Philippines Manila, the Marine Science Technicians (MST) of Marine Science Investigation Force underwent microbiological training as part of the ongoing PORTEc Project last 20-23 September 2022 aboard the University of the Philippines Manila.

The hands on training covered topics on wet and dry laboratory techniques which includes, streak plating for pure cultures, DNA isolation, and metagenomic analysis which are techniques used in testing for indicator microorganisms according to IMO D-2 Standards. During the training, CG LCDR JANINE T GUEVARRA and twenty-four (24) other MSTs were able to test samples of port water collected from different sampling points in the ports of Manila.

This training aims to enhance the knowledge of MSTs on the key microorganisms found on port and ballast water, microbiological testing in monitoring viable counts of indicator bacteria and also the importance of antimicrobial resistance monitoring in the field of port and ballast water.

As mandated by international and national laws, rules and regulations, the Philippine Coast Guard is one of the implementing organizations of the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC) and the Anti-Fouling Systems Convention (AFS) within the Philippine jurisdiction. With this, the PCG has partnered with other organizations to establish the Ballast Water and Biofouling Management Research Program (SAILS) to conduct a two (2) year collaborative research project that will serve as a guide in policy making and implementation of the said conventions. Port and Ballast Water Baseline using Ecological, Microbiological and eDNA approaches (PORTEC) Project under the SAILS program aims to establish data on the port and ballast water viable cell counts of indicator bacteria according to IMO D-2 Standards.

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{Photo Courtesy of MEPCOM and UP Manila}