Crop Biotech Update

Philippines Increases Biotech Adoption in 2013

March 12, 2014

The Philippines reached around 800,000 hectares of biotech corn cultivation in 2013, up from 750,000 hectares in 2012, landing it in the 12th place among the top countries adopting biotech crops. This was reported in a media conference organized by ISAAA, Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), and the Biotechnology for Life Media and Advocacy Resource Center (BMARC) on March 6, 2014 at Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati City.

In the conference, ISAAA Chair Dr. Paul Teng talked about food security and how biotech crops help contribute in various aspects of food security such as improvement of nutrition and agricultural productivity. ISAAA Global Coordinator and SEAsia Center Director Dr. Randy Hautea presented the global status, trends, and significant benefits of biotech crop adoption. Meanwhile, Undersecretary for Policy, Planning, Research and Development of the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) Dr. Segfredo Serrano, and former University of the Philippines (UP) System President and UP Los BaƱos Chancellor Dr. Emil Q. Javier talked about policy developments for agriculture as well as biotech crops in the Philippines, how biotech crops and modern technologies are helping the country, and insights on current issues such as the court case of Bt eggplant. They also emphasized the safety of the technology and the rigorous safety assessments and national regulatory system for biotech products. SEARCA Director Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr. stated in his message that the Center will continue to support biotech education and promotion particularly in developing countries, in line with its 10th Five Year Plan which seeks to promote inclusive and sustainable agricultural and rural development.

The media conference was attended by mulit-media journalists, members of the academe, government agencies, private sector, non-government organizations, and local government units.

For more information about biotechnology in the Philippines, visit SEARCA BIC's website at http://www.bic.searca.org/ or send an e-mail to bic@agri.searca.org.