Biotechnology thoroughly discussed to DA officials
Written and photos taken by Radel Llagas

The Department of Agriculture (DA) Biotechnology Program spearheaded a seminar on Social, Economic and other Factors in the Adoption of Biotech Crops in the Philippines for some twenty DA officials from all regional field units on November 21, 2017 at Consunji Room, 2F Ang Bahay ng Alumni, UP Diliman, Quezon City.

The aim of the seminar is to impart additional knowledge to DA officials particularly those involve in research and regulations about Biotechnology, its applications, regulations, and impact to socio-economic, environmental, food and nutrition security.

Experts in the field were invited such as Dr. Maribel M. Zaporteza, Deputy Program Director at Philippine Genome Center, who introduced basic concepts of biotechnology; Dr. Rhodora R. Aldemita, Senior Program Officer at International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), who discussed biotechnology as technology option, its applications and its regulations; Dr. Leonardo A. Gonzales, Founding President and Chairman at SIKAP/STRIVE Foundation, who explained the socio-economic, environmental, intersectoral, food and nutrition security impact of biotech crops in the Philippines; and Dr. Saturnina C. Halos, Director for Research at Biotechnology Coalition of the Philippines and Chair at Biotechnology Advisory Team of the DA, who discussed biosafety and impact assessment of genetically modified crops and the case for peaceful coexistence between biotech and organic farming.

Juanito “Ka-Johnny” Rama of San Manuel, Tarlac, the 2013 Regional Gawad Saka Outstanding Corn Awardee said that a part of his success in farming he owed, next to faith, hardwork and his family, to biotechnology (BT). According to him, the use of BT corn significantly increased his yield and in turn give him more profit.

Assistant Regional Director for Research and Regulations Digna P. Narvacan attended the seminar representing DA Regional Field Office No. IV-CALABARZON. “This kind of seminar is very important so that we can ensure that officials are kept abreast of modern agri-technology such as the applications and benefits of biotechnology on agriculture” she said.