Ensuring that the best available science is utilized in assessing the safety of all activities and products brought by modern biotechnology has always been a top priority for the country. Thus, in 1990, Executive Order 430 was issued to establish a system that will ensure the safety of experiments involving genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This was further strengthened with the issuance of Executive Order 514 in 2006, establishing the National Biosafety Framework. This has delineated the responsibilities of government agencies engaged in biosafety assessment of GMOs and preparing for other types of GMOs other than agricultural crops.
In 2009, Department of Science and Technology Biosafety Committee (DOST-BC) was established. Along with the Biosafety Committees of the Departments of Agriculture; Health; and the Environment and Natural Resources, the NBF was created in order for concerned government departments to better respond to the challenges presented by the rapid advancements in modern biotechnology.
The DOST-BC is primarily responsible for the conduct of the first level of assessment of all GMO experiments undertaken under contained use and confined tests. Moreover, it oversees the implementation of approved projects by ensuring that the biosafety measures prescribed by the Committee are strictly adhered by the proponents. Enforcement of biosafety measures are done in coordination with the Institutional Biosafety Committees (IBCs).