Crop Biotech Update

Philippine Regulators Receive Training on Assessing PBI Applications

June 9, 2022

On June 1 and 3, 2022, 14 regulators from the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) of the Philippine Department of Agriculture participated in the Virtual Training Workshop on Assessing Literature and Technical Dossiers for Plant Breeding Innovations (PBI) Application to enhance their capacity on how to assess the scientific merits of publications and other dossiers related to the application for entry of PBI products in the Philippine market.

Regulatory dossiers about the PBI products that will be applied, including reference materials, need to be scientifically assessed as to their veracity, repeatability, and integrity by regulators. Thus, ISAAA Inc., BPI, and the Biotechnology Coalition of the Philippines (BCP) put together the workshop to equip Philippine regulators with the knowledge and methods for evaluating technical literature that they will encounter when they review applications. They were briefed about the different types and applications of current PBIs by Dr. Reynante Ordonio of the Philippine Rice Research Institute. On the other hand, Dr. Abraham Manalo, Executive Secretary of the BCP, explained to them the history and unique features of the Philippine Plant Breeding Innovations Guideline Memorandum Circular No. 8 Series of 2022. This was then followed by lectures on the introduction of scientific methods and how it is transformed into scientific literature, the different kinds of scientific literature, and assessing scientific integrity of supporting publications by ISAAA Inc. Executive Director Dr. Rhodora Romero-Aldemita, who is also the editor-in-chief of the Philippine Journal of Crop Science.

To evaluate what they learned, the participants were first tasked to assess actual scientific article drafts that were meant to be published in a scientific journal by critiquing each part of the article. Their second exercise focused on building a technical dossier. They used ISAAA Inc.'s Genome Editing Resource Page and the Crop Biotech Update archive to look for articles to build a dossier on the topics that were assigned to them. The outputs of the exercises were submitted to Dr. Aldemita for review. These were presented during the second day of the workshop, where Dr. Aldemita provided feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of the participants' submissions. The workshop ended with closing remarks from Dr. Aldemita who emphasized the importance of the training and the value of helping participants prepare for their responsibilities as regulators.

For questions about the training-workshop, email zbugnosen@isaaa.org.

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