DA-BPI Biotechnology Office Conducts Public Briefing on DOST-DA-DENR-DOH-DILG Joint Department Circular No. 1 S2021 (JDC No.1 s2021) and DA Memorandum Circular No. 8 S2022 (DA MC No.8 S2022)

By: Darlene Joy Siena

Event November 18, 2022

The Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Plant Industry (DA-BPI) in partnership with the DA-Biotechnology Program Office (DA-BPO) organized a public briefing on the Philippine Biosafety Regulations for Genetically Modified (GM) Crops and Policy for Products of Plant Breeding Innovation last October 24, 2022 through Zoom.

This webinar aimed to raise awareness and disseminate valuable information on the regulation of GM crops and the evaluation and determination of PBI products. The public briefing was attended by participants from the DA Regional Field Offices (RFOs), Local Government Units (LGUs), and State Universities and Colleges (SUCs).

Dr. Gerald Glenn F. Panganiban, BPI Director, graced the event with his welcome message. He highlighted that as the country faces problems such as food safety and food security, biotechnology is a great tool to catch up with these demands and further emphasized the importance of public awareness and participation in the implementation of these policies. Moreover, Director Panganiban encouraged the participant s to extend the information from this event to farmers and other stakeholders.

Dr. Genaleen Diaz, a professor at the University of the Philippines Los BaƱos and a consultant of the Biotechnology Office presented the basic concepts on biotechnology and plant breeding innovation equipping the participants the background of this modern technology. Ms. Darlene Joy Siena, Science Research Specialist I, discussed the biotech regulations in the Philippines focusing on the Joint Department Circular No. 1, series of 2021 (JDC 1, s2021). It was then followed by the discussions on GM corn approved for commercial propagation and Insect Resistance Management (IRM) presented by Ms. Tracey Cea, Science Research Specialist I, and Ms. Viola Katherine Gamboa, Agricultural Technician II respectively. Afterwards, Dr. Abraham Manalo, Executive Secretary of the Biotechnology Coalition of the Philippines (BCP) presented the Policy on Plant Breeding Innovations focusing on DA Memorandum Circular No. 8, series of 2022. Ms. Ericka Joy U. Ancayan, Project Evaluation Officer I, facilitated the open forum wherein the participants were given the opportunity to raise questions to the resource persons and to the regulators.

To officially conclude the event, Dr. Herminigilda Gabertan, DA-BPI Assistant Director, thanked the resource speakers who shared their knowledge on the topics and helped to meet the objectives of the activity. She further highlighted that the BPI will continue to empower the public and stakeholders on matters related to biosafety, that decision-making is rooted in science-based assessment and assured that the GM crops are as safe as their conventional counterparts.

 Biotechnology Philippines