Biotech Updates

IAS 114th Anniversary Celebration Highlights Animal Biotechnology Development in the Philippines

June 14, 2023

Researchers, faculty, and students of the Institute of Animal Science (IAS) in the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) participated in the Animal Biotechnology Symposium and Stakeholder Consultation on the Proposed Guidelines for GM Animals and Animal Products in the Philippines on June 14, 2023. The event was part of the 114th anniversary celebration of IAS and conducted in partnership with ISAAA Inc.

The hybrid event served as an avenue to discuss the science of animal biotechnology and gather comments and opinions about the proposed guidelines for genetically modified (GM) animals and animal products in the Philippines. It was attended by around 150 participants who were present at the venue and via Zoom. Among the guests were UPLB Chancellor Jose V. Camacho Jr., Dean Elpidio M. Agbisit Jr. of the College of Agriculture and Food Science, IAS Director Dr. Rommel C. Sulabo, and Academician Arnel del Barrio of IAS.

In their messages, the keynote speakers commended the benefits that animal biotechnology introduced to the Philippine agricultural industry. According to IAS Director Sulabo, “There have been numerous landmark discoveries in animal science in the past century, but the major driver of innovation in agriculture are developments in animal biotechnology. Animal biotechnology developments have improved animal breeding and animal production, enabled disease control, contributed to agricultural growth, enhanced technology transfer and capacity development, and improved environmental sustainability in the Philippines.” “In the modern age, we have accepted that biotechnology will aid us in obtaining food security. Biotechnology (is) one of the tools to future-proof the animal industry,” added Dean Agbisit. “From an economic perspective, biotechnology is one of the important components to boost productivity,” said Chancellor Camacho.

Dr. Rhodora Romero-Aldemita, Executive Director of ISAAA Inc., also welcomed the attendees and explained that three public consultation webinars have been previously conducted by the Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI) Biotech Team to obtain comments and sensitize stakeholders about the guidelines. But the authors of the guidelines decided that more exposure was needed to fully orient the stakeholders and beneficiaries on animal biotechnology and to solicit comments for the improvement of the guidelines, hence the conduct of this event.

Dr. Maribel Zaporteza of the Institute of Biological Sciences in UPLB served as a resource speaker and discussed the science of GM animals for livestock, poultry, aquaculture and insects. Mr. Reimond Corona of the National Committee of the Biosafety of the Philippines gave a complete overview of the drafted animal biotechnology guidelines. A panel discussion that featured the resource speakers and Dr. Abraham J. Manalo of UP Diliman and Biotech Coalition of the Philippines as well as Ms. Eufrecina Estanislao of the Bureau of Animal Industry, Head Secretariat of the Inter-Agency Technical Working Group on the Formulation of GM Animal Regulation in the Philippines provided further insights about the guidelines. The important talking points of the discussion were moderated and summarized by Dr. Romero-Aldemita.

Dr. Orville Bondoc, IAS professor and member of the DA Biotech Technical Committee, gave the closing remarks. The event was hosted by Dr. Consuelo Amor Estrella and Dr. Percival Sangel of IAS.

For inquiries about the event, email

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