Deputy House Speaker, Rep. Sharon Garin underscores the importance of biotechnology as one of the solutions to food security.
Invited as keynote speaker during the opening ceremonies of the 13h National Biotechnology Week held at the Expo Hall 1, Fisher Mall in Quezon City, Garin said that with biotechnology, agricultural products can be improved.
She said some farmers choose biotech crops because they increase yield and lower production costs. Farmers get a greater financial return while using more environmentally friendly farming practices through the use of agricultural biotechnology.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) led the kick off ceremonies of this year’s National Biotechnology Week, from November 20 to 24, with the theme: “Bioteknolohiya para sa Kalikasan, Kalusugan, Kagandahan, kabuhayan at Kaunlaran” and slogan “Lamang ang Masa at Magsasaka sa Limang “K” ng Bioteknolohiya”.
Dr. Segfredo Serrano, DA’s undersecretary for Policy & Planning said the weeklong celebration will highlight the beneficial application of biotechnology in food and agriculture, health and wellness, and environmental conservation through technology exhibits, trade fair, seminars and for a for teachers, students, farmers and consumers.
One of the highlights of the NBW is the annual Jose G. Burgos Jr. Awards for Biotechnology Journalism that will be held 22 November 2017 at the Brentwood Suites in Quezon City.
The Awards recognize media’s outstanding contribution in pushing the frontiers of scientific inquiry and designed to encourage media to be an active partner in the promotion of biotechnology.
Formerly known as the Gawad Galing for Biotech Journalism, the Awards was renamed Jose G. Burgos Jr. Awards for Technology Journalism in honor of the late Jose ‘Joe’ G. Burgos Jr., a journalist and a farmer.
Another highlight of the 13th NBW is the 2nd Filipino Faces of Biotechnology Appreciation Night, an activity that is organized by the DA Biotech Program Office.
During the Appreciation Night, champions of biotechnology in the country will be recognized to celebrate their exceptional contributions on biotech research and advocacy as scientists, policymakers, farmer-leaders, and communicators.
Aside from the DA, other government partners for the 13th NBW include the Department of Science & Technology (DOST), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Environment & Natural Resources (DENR), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Trade & Industry (DTI), Department of Education (DepEd), and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
The Philippines is the first ASEAN country to initiate a biotechnology regulatory system with the issuance of Executive Order No. 430 in 1990, which established the National Committee on Biosafety of the Philippines (NCBP). The countries biosafety regulatory system follows strict scientific standards and has become a model for member-countries of the ASEAN seeking to become producers of agricultural biotechnology crops.