Biotech Updates

ISAAA Inc. Holds a Public Briefing in Iloilo City for Filipino Farmers

June 13, 2024

ISAAA Inc., in partnership with the Philippine Biotechnology for Agriculture and Fisheries of the Department of Agriculture (DA Biotech Program Office) and Asian Farmer's Network (ASFARNET), holds a public briefing titled Biotech for Filipino Farmers: A Public Briefing on the Philippine Biotechnology and Biosafety Regulations on June 6, 2024, at Iloilo City, Iloilo. As part of the Know the Science project, this public briefing aimed to provide recent developments and information on the status of biotechnology and biosafety systems in the Philippines.

The public briefing was attended by 130 participants representing important stakeholders in the province such as rice and corn farmers, local government officials, members of the academe, and individuals from the private and agriculture sectors. Mr. Iñigo D. Garingalao, Iloilo City Agriculturist, delivered the opening remarks on behalf of Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas. Mr. Garingalao mentioned that this event contributes to many initiatives of Iloilo City towards food security. Mr. Delson Sonza, a corn seed grower and trader from Iloilo, gave a welcome message to the attendees. “On behalf of Ilonggo farmers, we welcome everyone to learn more about the updates of biotechnology in the Philippines,” Mr. Sonza said.

The event featured presentations from Dr. Rhodora Romero-Aldemita, Executive Director of ISAAA Inc., and Ms. Ma. Lorelie U. Agbagala, Assistant Scientist at the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Head Secretariat of the National Committee on Biosafety of the Philippines (NCBP). Dr. Aldemita provided an overview of the Philippines' and global biotechnology status and innovations, while Ms. Agbagala discussed the Philippine biosafety regulations and how Golden Rice and Bt eggplant went through the process of biosafety approval.

The event received 85 signatories on the declaration of support for the commercial planting of Bt/HT corn, Bt eggplant, Bt cotton, and Golden Rice. An open discussion initiated deeper conversations with the participants, which was facilitated by Mr. Panfilo de Guzman, Senior Associate Scientist at ISAAA Inc. Dr. Paul Limson, Director of the DA Biotech Program Office, gave the closing remarks, emphasizing the crucial roles of different sectors in improving the lives of Filipino farming communities. The event was moderated by Janine Cyren Escasura, Project Technical Assistant at ISAAA Inc.

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