Biotech Updates

Philippine DA Regulators and Crop Researchers Train on Biotech Communication

April 2, 2014

Forty-five (45) regulators, researchers, and officers of the Philippine Department of Agriculture's (DA), Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA), Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA), and Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) based in Visayas and Mindanao were recently updated and trained about crop biotechnology, its global and local status and benefits, the national biosafety regulatory system, and science communication principles and tips during the Science Communication Workshop: Enhancing Biotech Knowledge and Communication Skills on 1-2 April2014 at Cebu Parklane International Hotel, Cebu City.

In his opening message, ISAAA Global Coordinator and SEAsia Center Director Dr. Randy A. Hautea, emphasized the importance of the participants' engagement with and listening to the public when it comes to biotech communication. Executive Director of the DA-BPI Dr. Clarito Barron also recognized the importance of properly communicating biotech and regulatory policies and guidelines.

Resource persons include Dr. Hautea who talked about how biotech crops contribute to food security and sustainable agriculture and its global widespread use among farmers; DA-Biotechnology Program Office (DA-BPO) Program Coordinator Dr. Antonio A. Alfonso who presented the DA's policy, R&D, and information, education, and communication (IEC) initiatives on biotech; and Co-chair of the DA- Biotech Core Team Ms. Merle Palacpac who discussed the policies and guidelines of the rigorous biosafety regulatory framework of the country. 

Dr. Rhodora R. Aldemita and Mr. Panfilo De Guzman of ISAAA; UPLB Professor Dr. Cleofe S.Torres and SEARCA-BIC Network Administrator and Special Projects Coordinator Ms. Maria Monina Cecilia A. Villena served as science communication experts and facilitators in the workshop. Participants also learned about other communication skills such as tips on infographics development, interacting with the media and the general public through print and radio. The activity was co-organized by ISAAA, DA-BPO, and SEARCA- BIC.

For more updates about crop biotechnology developments in the Philippines, visit SEARCA BIC's website at or send an e-mail to