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Crop Biotech Update

Philippine Heads of State Recognize Contribution of Biotechnology to Economy

December 17, 2010

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and Vice President Jejomar Binay led government officials in noting  biotechnology's significant contributions in agriculture and the economy in their messages for the National Biotechnology Week last November 22-28. The president conveyed that as biotechnology becomes more accessible to people, Filipinos can take advantage of its technologies, particularly in the agriculture industry.

Both leaders also congratulated the winners of the Jose G. Burgos Jr. Award for Biotechnology Journalism 2010. The president said "Our farmers now have more alternatives for sustainable profitability. The writer-awardees have not only shown excellence in journalism but have also contributed greatly to our collective task of nation-building." Vice president Binay, noted the irony of being an agriculture country and the media giving less importance in biotechnology and agriculture. "As a people, we must be made aware of the advancements in biotechnology for it is a key factor in the growth and development of our nation," he stated.

Agriculture Secretary Procesos Alcala said that the Department of Agriculture is open to biotechnology adoption in food production, provided that it is safe to the health and environment. He said that developments in the field have encouraged the department to take advantage of biotechnology. Secretary Alcala also acknowledged the journalists for "explaining breakthroughs with words that can easily be understood and for serving as "a bridge between scientists and farmers and fisherfolks."

For the original article, visit http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=638406&publicationSubCategoryId=77. For more information on the J. Burgos Biotech Journalism 2010 and the National Biotechnology Week, e-mail bic@agri.searca.org or visit SEARCA BIC website at www.bic.searca.org.