DEVELOPMENT AND STATUS OF MICROPALEONTOLOGICAL RESEARCH IN THE PHILIPPINES

BENJAMIN A. GONZALES

 

 

 

ABSTRACT



In the search for economic minerals, paleontology plays a very significant role. Its importance in geological investigations is widely acknowledged.

During the past 70 years, paleontology developed rapidly in other countries mainly as a response to the needs of oil exploration. Probably because there was not as much need for its local application during those early years, it did not develop in the same desirable manner in this country.

The systematic study of Philippine fossils commenced some 30 years ago during the first comprehensive study of Philippine geology in connection with the government-sponsored search for oil. After World War II, paleontologists in the Bureau of Mines carried out extensive studies mostly on foraminiferal faunas. In 1954, renewed activities in the search for petroleum opened new and more specialized lines of studies necessary for the careful analysis of the petroleum potentialities of the prospective basin areas in the country.

Today, the Bureau of Mines’ paleontological laboratory is the only main group engaged in continuing research on Philippine fossil faunas. Although still limited in its studies to only a few fossil taxa, the laboratory is working simultaneously on several important projects which will eventually lead to the full understanding of the distribution, paleoecology, and systematic classification of, at least, the foraminiferal fauna in the local biostratigraphy.

Problems involving mainly budgetary outlays continue to beleaguer the laboratory however, with the ever-increasing support and encouragement the government is giving to technological researches, the status of paleontological studies in the country will soon be at par with those in the technologically advanced countries of thc world.

 

 

 

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