Since the DA-DENR-DILG-DOH-DOST Joint Department Circular on plants and plant products derived from modern biotechnology took effect last April 16, 2016, the Department of Agriculture Biotech Program Office (DA-BPO) has been incessantly conducting activities in collaboration with other institutions to strengthen the capacity and participation of the five agencies involved in the regulation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
Last April 17-21, DA-BPO conducted a Training Course on Biotechnology Tools for Crop/Animal Improvement in the Philippine Rice Research Institute at Maligaya, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.
With speakers from the academe and research institutions, the week-long training focused on explaining the technical and scientific concepts of modern biotechnology and biosafety regulation. The course aimed to enhance the understanding of participants on the application of modern biotechnology tools, the Philippine biotechnology regulatory system, and research and development activities on GM crops being carried out by the public research institutions. The key features of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, its key features and sources of scientific reference that can be used for for safety assessment were likewise presented. The participants were comprised of regulatory officers from the five departments involved in the implementation of the JDC.