Biotech Updates

Philippine National Biotech Week Activities Kick Off With Updates on Bt Corn, Golden Rice

October 20, 2022

ISAAA Inc., in partnership with SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center and the Philippine Agriculture and Fisheries Biotechnology Program (DA-Biotech Program), conducted the webinar Current Status of Commercialized GM Crops in the Philippines: Biotech Corn and Golden Rice as part of the Know the Science Webinar Series. It was attended by 798 participants on Zoom and various social media platforms on October 11, 2022, and was designed for media practitioners to get information for their news articles and orient the general public on the latest updates about the topic.

Dr. Claro Mingala, Director of the DA-BPO, gave the opening message and emphasized how the Philippine government supports the development of biotechnology products by bridging developers, regulatory agencies, and other stakeholders. This was followed by a presentation by Dr. Gabriel O. Romero, Executive Director of the Philippine Seed Industry Association, about biotech corn. Bt corn is the first GM crop commercialized in the Philippines and Asia, and its approval in 2002 is considered a significant breakthrough in agri-biotech. Since then, the crop has gained exponential adoption growth. In less than 10 years, the adoption rate was close to saturation. With the high adoption of biotech corn, the Philippines ranked 12th mega-country growing biotech crops in 2019.

Dr. Ronan G. Zagado, Program Leader of Golden Rice at the DA Philippine Rice Research Institute, also presented the updates on Golden Rice. He stated that PhilRice is currently multiplying the seeds and that the initial deployment is being carried out during the wet season in priority areas. The number of deployment sites will increase as soon as more seeds are available.

An open forum followed the presentations to allow the audience to ask in-depth questions to the speakers. Dr. Rhodora Romero-Aldemita, Executive Director of ISAAA Inc., closed the event with her concluding message. The webinar was moderated by Zabrina J. Bugnosen, Project Associate at ISAAA Inc.

The second part of the Know the Science Webinar Series will be held on November 3, 2022 and will feature Dr. Edison RiƱen of the Bt Cotton Project in the Philippines, and Dr. Abraham J. Manalo of the National College on Public Administration and Governance, University of the Philippines Diliman who will discuss other biotech products in the pipeline in the Philippines. Register for free to watch it.

The KTS webinar series is a build-up activity for the 18th National Biotechnology Week to be held on November 21-25, 2022 at the Philippine Trade Training Center.

Watch the first webinar in's YouTube and Facebook channels, or visit ISAAA Webinars for the complete details.

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