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Research and Extension Services





The ORDE will be the key player in the university’s effort in promoting and sustaining research and development, generating innovative technologies and developing collaboration in these areas with other agencies.


The ORDE will accomplish its mission by working with the faculty in identifying projects to be conducted by students under their supervision; assisting the faculty in the preparation of project proposals and identifying funding sources and possible collaborators; and, providing opportunities for continuing education and training of its faculty and students.

The ORDE works in close coordination with the other departments in the university where the laboratory equipment and research materials are based. Arrangements can also be made with other laboratories. At present, FEATIU has memoranda of agreement with the Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC) and the Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) of the Department of Science and Technology, as well as with the Fiber Industry Development Authority (FIDA) of the Department of Agriculture. FEATIU is a signatory to the Agreement on Cooperative Educational Exchange University Belt (U-BELT) Consortium on Linkages and actively participates in the U-BELT Consortium Research and Extension Linkage through ORDE.The ORDE Director is Dr. Rogelio A. Panlasiqui.




The Executive Committee of the Department of Science and Technology, in its meeting last November 26, chaired by Secretary Estrella F. Alabastro approved the project proposal “Application of Sediment Quality Guidelines in Assessing Metal Contamination of Sediments Along Pasig River Tributaries”.  With FEATI University as Project Proponent and Project Coordinator, the project will be implemented by the University Belt Consortium with the Industrial Technology Development Institute of the Department of Science and Technology as co-implementing agency and the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission as cooperating agency.



The Pasig River is a vital part of the Metro Manila’s economic, political, and social legacy.  Its approximate length of 27 kilometers stretching from Manila Bay up to the aperture of Laguna Lake encompasses almost the entire Metropolitan Manila.  The clean up of this river had always been in the agenda of the national government and in 1993 the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) was become operational.  The PRRC has been mandated to restore and rehabilitate the Pasig River System and to improve and monitor its water quality.  Among the projects initiated and continuously being implemented by the PRRC are waste minimization, relocation of squatters, water quality monitoring, removal of sunken derelicts, and riverside parks development. The Asian Development Bank through the Sector Development Program provided a financial assistance package of US $176 million ( to clean up the highly polluted river.   The program aims to bring life back to the river and make it suitable for activities such as boating by 2014.

Recent studies revealed that the true state of the quality of water in the river system is best reflected by the quality of its underlying sediments.   Because sediments tend to integrate contaminant inputs over time, they represent potentially significant hazards to the health of aquatic organisms and to the overall health of the aquatic ecosystem. Consequently, sediments may also act as along term sources of pollutants to the aquatic environment. Therefore, sediment quality guidelines for the protection of aquatic life are included to assess the toxicological significance of sediment-associated chemicals in freshwater, estuarine, and marine ecosystems. Moreover, heavy metals adsorbed on the sediments maybe released to the overlying water column under certain environmental conditions, e.g., accidental release of acidic effluents from factories, which could mobilize heavy metal ions, bioaccumulate in the aquatic organisms, and enter the food chain. They can be used to help interpret whether existing or predicted sediment quality conditions pose a threat to benthic organisms.

Significance of the Study

Sediments and accumulation of toxic heavy metals in the sediments are subjects of considerable interest because of their environmental significance as material traps. Heavy metals from natural and anthropogenic sources tend to accumulate and integrate within the sediments over time.  Thus, chemical analyses of the sediments can be very useful in determining the history of accumulation inputs and spatial trends in the degree of contamination.  The sediment quality guidelines can provide scientific benchmarks to be used as a basis for the evaluation, protection and enhancement of water quality.  This guideline can help in setting targets for clean-up initiatives within broader management strategies that will sustain the integrity of the aquatic ecosystem for the long term. 

The PRRC had documented the various sediment testing done at Pasig River.  They found out that five (5) toxic metals namely; cadmium, lead, zinc, copper and mercury contaminated the Pasig River. Their data further revealed that the portion between San Juan and Napindan had the highest metal concentration in sediments with zinc having the highest concentration ranging from 25 to 1,2mm mg/kg.  However, as they concluded in the report (PRRC, 2001), the metal concentrations derived cannot ascertain the degree of metal contamination in whole stretch of Pasig River due to dearth of data from other tributaries and lack of data environmental guidelines regarding contaminated sediments. 

To support the government’s clean-up efforts for Pasig River, all disciplines should be working toward a common goal, which can be best achieved through forging alliances among the various stakeholders located along the Pasig River.  The alliances are needed to elicit scientifically sound ecological survey, produce technically-reliable analyses of pollutants/contaminants and provide effective advocacy campaigns to back-up the ecological rehabilitation of the river. 

The University Belt (U-Belt) consortium is a group of thirteen higher education institutions committed to cooperate on programs based on the principle of reciprocity.

The coalition for this river stewardship can be best exemplified through this project proposal wherein the university belt consortium would pool their resources in the application of sediment quality guidelines for assessing the Pasig River.  This joint undertaking will spearhead the laying of grounds for the scientific quest for ecological assessment that has immediate and upbeat applications. The alliance of academic institutions through the conduct of this study is the best means to stimulate symbiotic and cooperative partnership among them.  This research study also would put greater emphasis on providing high quality education that could raise the standards of academic preparation of young graduates for better competency complemented with social and ecological ethics.

General Objective

The main objective of the study is to explore the application of sediment quality guidelines in assessing the extent of metal contamination of the sediments along Pasig River and its major tributaries.  The knowledge on the extent of heavy metal contamination will provide solid scientific basis for laying down clean up options or restoration efforts for Pasig River.

Specific Objectives

  1. To raise the level of awareness among member-academic institutions on environmental stewardship
  2. To familiarize students with the sampling techniques and laboratory testing for heavy metals
  3. To broaden knowledge of researchers in the member academic institutions on the application of sediment quality guidelines
  4. To apply the sediment quality guidelines developed in other countries that could be used in assessing metal contamination in Pasig River
  5. To provide prudent scientific data that could be used as technical reference in designing and implementing rehabilitation initiatives for Pasig River


Theoretical Framework

The exploratory study on the determination of the concentrations of the heavy metals along the tributaries of the Pasig River is a major breakthrough in promoting the active public-private partnership in attaining the tough undertaking like the proposed clean up of the Pasig River.    The partnership will become a powerful driver in accelerating the clean-up goal by sharing resources and complementing functions.  The delineation of responsibilities among the public-private cooperation is outlined below:






  U-Belt Consortium


Set the overall direction of the research study
Coordinate with the PRRC in the determination of the sampling sites
Coordinate with the PRRC and Phil Coast Guard sampling protocols 
Undertake the collection of sediment in their respective assigned sites
Perform laboratory analyses on the sediment samples
Provide qa/qc on the laboratory testing of sediment
Conduct statistical analyses
Make available to the PRRC the result of the study
Preparation of  technical and financial reports


Provide technology assistance on the standard methods for the collection and subsequent testing of sediments
Coordinate the acquisition of sediment quality guidelines from National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Evaluate the sediment quality based on the results of heavy metal analyses as per NOAA guidelines


Make available to U Belt the results of the analyses of heavy metals previously conducted on some selected sites along Pasig River
Assist the U Belt Consortium in the selection of sampling sites
Assist in the laying out logistics for the sampling of sediments in the selected sites
Establish the integration of the results of the study into the development of DENR guidelines.



Selection of Site and Sampling Procedure

The sampling locations for the collection of sediments were identified jointly by the U-Belt Consortium in close coordination with the Environment Unit of the PRRC.  Initially, there are thirteen (13) sites which are considered tributaries or “esteros” targeted for the study, purposely one sampling site will be assigned for each university.  The assignment of estero will be based on the proximity of the said university to that particularly “estero” or tributary of Pasig River. 

The surface sediment samples (0-7 cm) will be collected with the use of Ekmann Grab Sampler.  The sampler will be lowered at the middle portion of the river; the messenger will be released to close the mouth of the sampler.  At each site, five sub-samples will be taken scooped manually using a wide-mouth plastic container. The scooped sediment will be examined to determine if the sediment was intact.  If the use of Ekmann Grab Sampler is inappropriate due to remoteness of the sampling site or lack of access at the mid channel of the waterways and presence of barriers/floating debris that could impede the efficiency of collection, the assistance of Philippine Coast Guard will be requested.  

Sample Preparation:

The first batch of the sediment sample will be dried overnight in an oven at 105-110 degrees centigrade while the second batch of the sediment sample will be air-dried for two weeks.  Both samples will be ground by mortar pestle and stored in amber-colored bottles.

Nitric Acid Digestion

The ground sediment samples, from oven-dried and air dried samples,   (0.5g) will be digested in 10 ml nitric following the standard method. After digestion, the sample is filtered and diluted with deionized water to 50 ml.  There should be three replicates for each ground sediment. 
Metal Determination

Seven (7) heavy metals, cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), lead (Pb), zinc (Zn), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu) and mercury (Hg), which were previously identified by the PRRC in their monitoring will be likewise analyzed by Atomic Absorption Spectrometry or Inductively Coupled Plasma.  The determination of the heavy metals will be done in the university members of the Consortium that have the necessary testing facilities.  The testing of heavy metals of the digested sediment samples will also be done at the DENR-accredited laboratory should the testing laboratories in the universities are insufficient.

Data Analysis

The scatter plot with linear regression method for fit will be used to determine outlying values from the data.

Comparison of Metal Ion Concentration with Sediment Quality Guidelines

The individual metal ion concentrations will be compared with the Sediment Quality Guidelines developed by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  The comparison will be helpful in identifying metals and sites of primary concern for rehabilitating the Pasig River. Numerical sediment quality assessment guidelines maybe used to identify and designate sediments that have high, moderate and low probabilities of being associated with adverse effects on aquatic organisms.  It maybe used to identify priority contaminants within an area of concern.  It can also be used to identify the need for site-specific investigations and can elucidate subsequent scientific quests to support regulatory decisions, including source control and other remedial interventions.



           Sampling containers – 500 pcs.
            Sampling bags, masking tapes, markers
            Hand Gloves
            Nitric Acid (AR)
            Laboratory Glasswares (round bottom flasks, Erlenmeyer flasks, beakers)
            Hot plate
            Drying oven
            Mortar and pestle
            Flame Atomic Spectrometer
            Cold-Vapor AAS

An important consideration in the evaluation of the quality of the available sediment chemistry data is the quality assurance/quality control measures that were implemented during collection, transport, and analysis of sediment samples.  Standard methodologies have established to provide guidance on the field aspects of sediment sampling technique –ASTM 1990, USEPA 1991.  Since the chemistry of bed sediments may vary spatially data or observations from the sampling stations are included to provide a representative picture of sediment quality conditions in the area. 

U- Belt Consortium 


The U-Belt Consortium, through the leadership of its presiding officer, Dir. Cynthia Luz P. Rivera (UST), released its first issue of the Research Journal last May 2007. Entitled “Evolving Manila and Its Historical Thoroughfares”, and as the editors described it, this journal “embarks on a sentimental journey focused on Manila as it evolves in history”.

FEATI University took part in this very significant milestone in the Consortium's initial years. Architect Ma. Joycelyn Bolhayon Mananghaya, Dean of the College of Architecture, contributed her research entitled “Urban Rehabilitation and Renewal of Carlos
Palanca: An Oral and Archival History”. This 18-page research paper presents vivid details focused on the development of the area from the time it became part of the business district of Santa Cruz and Quiapo in the 1800's up to the present. Other pioneer contributors came from the following U-Belt Consortium member universities: Far Eastern University, Adamson University and the University of Santo Tomas. Also included in this issue are Book Reviews, Memorandum of Agreement 2006 in which FEATI President, Dr.-Ing. Adolfo Jesus R. Gopez was one of the signatories, and the Annual Report 2005 – 2006

ORDE Director Elected Presiding Officer of the U-Belt Consortium

The U-Belt Consortium Research and Linkage Meeting elected ORDE Director, Dr. Rogelio A. Panlasigui as the new Presiding Officer of the U-Belt Consortium to succeed Dir. Cynthia Luz P. Rivera.

Mapua Institute of Technology: U-Belt Consortium's Newest Member

With the recent membership of Mapua Institute of Technology, the U-Belt Consortium now has thirteen (13) members. They are as follows:

Adamson University            Manuel L. Quezon University
Arellano University Mapua Institute of Technology
Centro Escolar University National University
Far Eastern University University of the East
FEATI University      University of Manila
Jose Rizal University University of Sto. Tomas

Lyceum of the Philippines University



Architecture Dean Returns from UNESCO Tranning

U-Belt Consortium Proposal on Pasig Sediment Analysis


FEATI Alumnus Castro Here as Balik Scientist