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In a forum organized by the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) system, local scientists promoted biotechnology as an exciting and promising career choice among students by imparting their insights on its beneficial impact to Philippine society.

Dr. Edsel Maurice T. Salvaña, director of the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology-National Institutes of Health of the University of the Philippines Manila, shared that genuine interest can entice a young mind to embrace biotechnology as an auspicious career path to take.“Doctors can be scientists as well. It is a longer path but, for me, it’s still a good path,” he said.

Officials from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and academicians were recognized for their significant contributions in the field of biotechnology during the celebration of 13th National Biotechnology Week.

As part of the five-day festivity, the Department of Agriculture (DA)–Biotechnology Program Office held the second “Filipino Faces of Biotechnology” event on 23 November 2017 at the Brentwood Suites in Quezon City.

Filipino Faces of Biotechnology is an event which aims to honor and celebrate the exceptional contributions and efforts of scientists, policymakers, farmer-leaders, and communicators to the development of biotechnology in the Philippines.

 

Journalists from various publications recently received recognition for their stories that highlight the benefits of biotechnology to society and the Filipino people during the 2017 Jose G. Burgos, Jr. Awards for Biotech Journalism. Now on its 11th year, the said award aims to push the frontiers of science by popularizing biotech stories that make people more aware of this scientific discipline.

Representatives of various government institutions agree that there are many benefits to the use of biotechnology that can help a lot of people and the country’s development. However, they are also keen on putting in place regulatory systems to ensure the safety of technology and put people’s concerns on biotech applications in check.

Dr. Segfredo R. Serrano, undersecretary for policy and planning of the Department of Agriculture (DA), said that there is no such thing as a riskless state of technology; thus it is important that we know which ones will be good for us and for our country.

“It is very important that we also establish a regulatory system that can do the assessment and the risk management that can ensure the safety and application of technology,” Serrano said.

RESEARCH AND Development (R&D) projects of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) are designed to support various industries and fields such as agriculture, healthcare services, and food manufacturing. R&D programs in biotechnology are likewise geared towards the development of innovative products and services.

“In DOST, all of our researches and services are anchored on wanting to make science and technology applications become an integral part in improving the lives of every Filipino. Among those applications that I am referring to is biotechnology,” said Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, executive director of DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) during the closing program of the 13th National Biotechnology Week (NBW) celebration on 24 November 2017 at Fisher Mall in Quezon City

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