Biotech Updates

International Conference Highlights Importance of Biotech Communication

September 20, 2023

Photo Source: DA-Crop Biotechnology Center

Development communication has been proven to champion the needs of the less fortunate, particularly farmers and fisher folk, who remain to be voiceless and continue to have limited access to technologies that could potentially enhance their state of living. This statement was given by Dr. Edgardo Tulin, President of the Visayas State University (VSU) system and host of the 2nd International Conference on Development Communication organized by the Association of Development Communication Educators and Practitioners (ADCEP) Philippines on September 14-16, 2023 at VSU campus in Baybay, Leyte, Philippines.

The conference was attended by over 100 participants online and onsite. One of the highlights of the conference was a session on agricultural biotechnology communication headed by the Philippine Agriculture and Fisheries Biotechnology Program of the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA), DA Crop Biotechnology Center, DA Philippine Rice Research Institute, International Rice Research Institute, and ISAAA Inc. The main objective of the session was to inform and encourage development communication educators, practitioners, and students to take part in the biotech advocacy campaign.

Marcellas Antonia Barrogo, Senior Management Specialist at DA Biotech, presented the state of agri-biotech program in the Philippines. Kristine Grace Tome, Program Officer II at ISAAA Inc., shared the various initiatives of the organization using digital media for biotech communication. One of their recently published products is the Biotech sQuizBox: All About Gene Editing, and the magazine Double Helix tailored for senior high school students.

The experiences of Malusog Rice project team in handing risk communication and generating social license were presented by Ma. Aileen Garcia and Dr. Ronan Zagado, respectively. Ms. Garcia is the Senior Manager of Project Coordination and Stakeholder Advocacy at IRRI, while Dr. Zagado is a Chief Science Research Specialist and Lead of the Malusog Rice Program at PhilRice.

The session was moderated by Dr. Elaine DC Llarena, Assistant Professor and Chair, Department of Science Communication, UPLB College of Development Communication.

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