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Exemplary individuals. (From left) Octave, Tan, Ressa, Montinola and Aguhon Award chair Maoi Arroyo (Photo credit: INQUIRER.NET. 2017, (March 6). Photo grabbed from http://business.inquirer.net/225683/grass-greener-water)

DOST Biosafety Committee's very own Atty. Jose Maria Ochave, a chemical engineer and a lawyer, was recently bestowed an Aguhon Award, together with other exemplary individuals who embodied global competitiveness to create a positive economic, social, and cultural impact in their respective fields.

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Last 23 February, the Department of Science and Technology Biosafety Committee (DOST-BC), through its Head Secretariat, Ms. Julieta Fe L. Estacio, presented the requirements for research involving Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) with biosafety implications to students and faculty of the University of Santo Tomas (UST), Manila.

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One of NCBP's aims this year is to effectively engage and inform the public about modern biotechnology and biosafety regulations. This goal was further realized when the Philippines, through Ms. Julieta Fe L. Estacio, was invited to present the Philippine experience in the regulation of GMOs in the second Global Round table on public awareness, access to information and public participation regarding GMOs at the Palais des Nations (Salle V) in Geneva, Switzerland last 15 to 17 December. 

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In line with its persistent efforts to familiarize stakeholders on the new guidelines on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the DOST-DA-DENR-DOH-DILG Joint Department Circular (JDC) No.1 Series of 2016, the DOST Biosafety Committee (DOST-BC) Secretariat, participated in the series of public briefings conducted by biosafety partners in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

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Dr. Leo Gonzales of STRIVE Foundation discussing the experience of socio-economic assessments in the Philippines

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Dr. Jose Falck-Zepeda of PBS discussing methodologies on socio-economic considerations

Last September 8-9, 2016, the National Committee on Biosafety of the Philippines (NCBP) in collaboration with the Program for Biosafety Systems (PBS) conducted a workshop on the socio-economic considerations of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) at the Acacia Hotel in Alabang, Muntinlupa City.  

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Prof. Edgardo Carlo L. Vistan II, Assistant Professor at the UP College of Law, giving a legal assessment of the Bt Talong Case.

As a continued effort in ensuring public awareness and understanding of issues pertaining to modern biotechnology and biosafety regulations of Genetically Modified Crops (GMOs), the Department of Science and Technology Biosafety Committee (DOST-BC) staff attended a Forum on GM Crops: Public Perception and Trade Regulation Practices last June 28, 2016, spearheaded by the Institute of International Studies, University of the Philippines Law Center at Diliman, Quezon City.

In preparation of the upcoming Seventh Conference of Parties serving as meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP/MOP 7), the Philippines conducted a series of consultations to acquire and capture the ideas and concerns of the Filipino community on biosafety issues and the implementation of the Cartagena Protocol.

The consultation served also as a venue to update major stakeholders on the progress and developments on the decisions made during the COP/MOP 6 in 2012 and discuss with them the draft country position on the outstanding and substantive issues in the implementation of the Cartagena Protocol. The results of the consultations shall form part of the country position that will be negotiated by the Philippine Delegation in the COP/MOP 7 scheduled on 29 September to 03 October 2014 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.