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Los Baños, Laguna - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) will conduct the ENVIOTECH Forum: Promoting biotechnologies for a healthier environment on November 25, 2020 from 2:00 to 4:00 PM via Zoom and Facebook Live. 

The Philippine Carabao Center-Livestock Biotech Center (PCC-LBC), in partnership with the Department of Agriculture-Biotech Program Office (DA-BPO) and National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) - Division XIII, conducted the 5th International Livestock Biotechnology Symposium. This annual symposium enables local and international researchers and scientists together with representatives from the government/public and private sector, non-government organizations, and academe to convene and achieve one specific desire, which is to strengthen agricultural outputs amidst pandemic for a more competitive, profitable, and sustainable livestock industry.

Because of the recent outbreak of global pandemics such as COVID-19, African Swine Fever (ASF), and Avian Influenza, this year’s theme “Research-Driven Innovations Addressing and Mitigating the Impacts of Global Pandemic in the Livestock Industry” brought together various experts from USA, Thailand, Japan, Australia, and Philippines. This two-day webinar symposium was conducted last October 27-28, 2020 through the virtual platform Zoom. The event had almost 400 attendees from different countries, mostly from the Philippines.

Claro N. Mingala, chief of PCC-LBC and OIC-Executive Director of Philippine Carabao Center (PCC), stated that both the emergence and resurgence of a different global pandemic is a threat to everyone’s biodiversity. Lives and livelihoods are at risk from this recent pandemic which could yield a long-term impact on an immense population. With growing globalization, the persistence of animal diseases poses a serious risk to public health and causes damage to businesses and the economy at large.

Roger Merkel, an Associate Professor from Langston University, Oklahoma, USA mentioned that to replace antibiotics, one should promote the growth of the animal, enhance its GI tract health, feed efficiency, and immune function, and reduce pathogenic bacteria found in animals. Two resource speakers have represented Thailand. Dr. Sukolrat Boonyayatra of Chiang Mai University deliberated her presentation on antimicrobial resistance of Bovine Mastitis pathogen while Dr. Rangsun Parnpai talked about the utilization of reproductive biotechnologies for production of Elite Genetics Cattle and Buffaloes.

On the second day, Prof. Shin-Ichiro Kawazu of Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido, Japan, presented studies on the development of Babesia parasites using gene manipulation and bio-imaging analysis. The main goal of his Plasmodium and Babesia researches is to understand the basic cellular mechanisms of these apicomplexan parasites. Another speaker is Ms. Rowena Aguilar-Sino a Fermentation Scientist from Australia talked about animal vaccine accessibility in the regional areas. The last speaker for this year is from the University of the Philippines Diliman, Dr. Saturnina Halos. She discussed the regulatory issues on animal biotechnology from Philippine perspective.

To sum it all up, the event became very informative and beneficial to the participants. Submitted queries from the participants were raised and discussed during the last part of each session. Based on a given poll, 83% of them believed that biotechnology is essential in mitigating a pandemic. The event was formally closed by Dr. Eufrocina P. Atabay, OIC, Research Development and Extension Division of PCC, who delivered the closing remarks. Justine Joy D. Salvador


Los Banos, Laguna - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) - Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) launched ENVIOCON last October 28 via Facebook Live.

ENVIOCON is a video contest which aims to highlight possible contributions of biotechnology on addressing environmental issues in the country as perceived by the younger generations today. Six thematic areas are identified which include: watershed, urban areas, biodiversity, coastal and freshwater, agroforestry, and forest.

ERDB conducts research projects to help protect and conserve the country’s environment and natural resources. Several research and development efforts have led to the generation or development of environment-friendly techniques using traditional and modern biotechnology. ERDB’s biotechnology efforts dealt mostly on forest production, protection and rehabilitation to adhere to concerns on forest decline, climate change, and providing people’s needs through the ecosystem services. Among these technologies are high-quality vesicular arbuscular mycorrhiza (HI-Q VAM 1), non-mist clonal propagation of forest tree species, genetic diversity of forest trees through DNA analysis, and micropropagation of Bagras Blume through tissue culture.

ENVIOCON is part of the celebration of the 16th National Biotechnology Week which is also chaired by DENR. NBW has been annually celebrated every last week of November through Presidential Proclamation 1414 since 2004. In compliance with the safety protocols set under the new normal, all activities related to the celebration of NBW will be conducted online.

ERDB is the principal research and development unit of DENR. Its R & D and extension activities are focused on the five major ecosystems of the Philippines which include forests, upland farms, grassland and degraded areas, coastal zone and freshwater, and urban areas. Allysa Marie C. Federio, TTD

Interested participants can send their entry thru:

Students, researchers, regulators, and various patient groups gathered last October 30, 2019 in Acacia Hotel Manila for the Symposium on Biotechnology in Healthcare. Spearheaded by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the symposium serves as a build-up activity leading to the 15th National Biotechnology Week (NBW) Celebration on November 25 to 29, 2019 with the theme Biotek: Makabagong Solusyon sa Kalusugan.

Usec. Enrique Domingo urged participants to support safe and responsible use of biotechnology, stating that healthcare innovations brought about by biotech are important in the implementation of health programs to forward Universal Health Care

            Undersecretary of Health and Officer-in-Charge Director General of the FDA, Dr. Rolando Enrique Domingo opened the event emphasizing the agency’s goal of increasing public awareness on biotechnology and its applications to human health. He highlighted the contributions of biotech in the development of rapid and efficient diagnostic tools, production of pharmaceuticals and provision of safe and effective healthcare methods that ultimately improved the quality of life of every Filipino, empowered marginalized sectors, and sustained inclusive economic growth in the country.

Seven experts in the field of biotechnology were present as speakers in the symposium. Dr. Saturnina Halos provided an overview of biotechnology and its application to various industries including pharmaceutical development, agriculture, marine life, livestock, and other emerging sectors. Putting focus on the role of biotechnology in healthcare, Dr. Nina Gloriani discussed applications in diagnostics, therapeutics and immunization. Dr. Ourlad Tantengco encouraged participants of the event to engage in research activities, presenting current studies in medical biotechnology being conducted in the Philippines.

FDA successfully conducted the Symposium on Biotechnology in Healthcare last October 30, 2019.  Ms. Joyce Circunay (leftmost) and Ms. Maria Lourdes Santiago (rightmost) led the awarding of Certificates of Appreciation for the speakers Dr. Ourlad Tantengco (second from left), Dr. Saturnina Halos, and Dr. Nina Gloriani.


Current innovations in biopharmaceuticals were introduced by Dr. Anabelle Villalobos, a Balik-Scientist of the Department of Science and Technology. She presented a global outlook on the development of new biologics which includes vaccines and biosimilars. Dr. Kris Lodrono, imparted her knowledge in vaccines and new technologies used in their development.  Dr. Benjamin Co educated the participants on the emerging class of biological products - biosimilars. He emphasized on how different international agencies regulate biosimilars and how the Philippines should stand in light of the increasing trend of development of these products. Ms. Elaine Llarena emphasized how important it is for scientific experts to refine their knowledge in risk communication. She sighted different scenarios where proper communication of risks can help build trust and improve public perception of biotechnology.

Speakers (Left photo) Dr. Anabelle Villalobos, Dr. Benjamin Co, (Right Photo) Dr. Kris Lodroño and Ms. Elaine Llarena showed zeal in answering questions from participants which include students, researchers, and regulators from various fields in healthcare.


The Department of Health, together with the Food and Drug Administration advocates for the safe and responsible use of biotechnology to ensure equitable access to essential medicines and innovative health technologies for the Filipino people. Through this symposium and the upcoming 15th National Biotechnology Week, these agencies aim to bring knowledge of these innovative technologies closer to the public. - FDA



NAGA CITY-The Department of Agriculture-Biotechnology Program Office (DA-BPO), in collaboration with the DA-Regional Field Office (RFO) V-Bicol Region, conducted a seminar-workshop for the DA-RFO’s key personnel and local agriculture officials.

Joining the DA-BPO in this initiative were the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

The activity, which was DA-BPO’s build-up activity for the annual celebration of the National Biotech Week, aimed to impart necessary knowledge and skills that can help the DA-RFO personnel respond to public queries on matters relevant to biotechnology.

DA-RFO V OIC Regional Executive Director Rodel P. Tornilla welcomed delegates from the provincial and municipal agricultural offices in the region.

According to Dir. Tornilla, it is relevant to launch comprehensive information dissemination campaigns about various initiatives of the government on biotechnology as this is primarily intended to help achieve food security and food sufficiency. With this, he expressed DA Bicol Region’s continuous support towards communicating biotech as a technological option for Filipino farmers.

With the uprooting incident we experienced from anti-biotech groups relative to the field trials of Golden Rice way back in 2013 inside the DA compound here in the region…the challenge for us is how to make biotech products and methods acceptable to the public,” he said.

In the seminar, the participants learned about the biotechnology, principles and applications, regulatory system, and locally-developed biotechnology products such as Bt Talong and Golden Rice. Subject-matter experts responded to various queries and misconceptions. During the discussion, participants raised their concerns mainly about the safety, efficiency, effectiveness, market price, and regulations of genetically modified (GM) crops and other biotech-related products. The resource speakers assured participants that biotech products have to undergo rigorous, evidence-based assessments provided by the current regulatory system in order to be considered safe and effective.

The resource speakers and experts include DA-BPO PDO Marcellas Y. Barrogo, St. Lukes Medical Center Consultant Dr. Nina Gloriani, Bureau of Plant Industry Representatives Dr. Peter Magdaraog and Ms. Viola Katherin Gamboa, UP Los Baños Researcher Dr. Lourdes Taylo, and PhilRice Healthier Rice Project Leader Dr. Reynante Ordonio. 


DA-RFO V OIC RED Rodel P. Tornilla delivers welcome remarks for delegates from

the provincial and municipal agricultural offices in the region.



DA-RFO V Key personnel and delagates from the Bicol Region Provincial and Municipal Agriculture Offices share photo op with DA-BPO Information, Education, and Communication Chair Fr. Emmanuel Alparce and invited resource speakers.

Participants actively participate in the workshop proper to further deepen

their understanding on biotech.





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