(Press Release For more information, please contact: DR. VIRGINIA G. NOVENARIO-ENRIQUEZ Tel. Nos. 837-2071 loc. 2102)

DOST leads National Biotechnology Week: Advances biotech entrepreneurial climate

Priming the country’s biotechnology enterprise for global competitiveness, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) along with the Departments of Agriculture; Health, Environment and Natural Resources; Trade and Industry; and Interior and Local Government, leads this year’s celebration of the National Biotechnology Week. This year’s celebration is based under the Presidential Proclamation 1053 which declares the first week of July as “NATIONAL BIOTECHNOLOGY WEEK (NBW).”

With the theme, “Securing the Philippines’ Niche in the Global Bio-enterprise,” the celebration aims to promote awareness of biotechnology and its applications as well as encourage entrepreneurship in biotechnology. Highlighting this year’s event are entrepreneurship fair, biotechnology quiz, technology exhibit and trade fair, S&T information forum, film showings, forums on DNA forensics, stakeholders' forum and media videoconferencing.

Opening this year’s biotech week celebration as special guest speaker is Dr. Hector Quemada, an accomplished Filipino-American biotechnologists based in Western Michigan University. He is also consultant and currently, USAID's biotechnology point person for Asia and Africa.

DOST Secretary Estrella F. Alabastro said that the celebration of the National Biotechnology Week affirms the government’s recognition of biotechnology as a strategic tool for the country's sustainable development and growth. Thus, she stressed the importance of building an entrepreneurial climate in biotechnology to develop our competitive position in the global bio-enterprise.

“The industry stands to benefit from the various potentials of biotechnology. Thus, it is important that we encourage and strengthen synergy between our R&D institutions and industry communities, “Alabastro said.

Alabastro stated that we already have an adequate pool of biotechnology experts and an equipped R & D infrastructure for biotechnology, research institutions which could generate promising biotech products with commercial potential in local and international markets.

On the other hand, NBW Overall Coordinator and DOST’s Philippine Council for Advanced Science and Technology Research and Development (PCASTRD) Executive Director Reynaldo V. Ebora emphasized the need to reinforce the bioscience research base which serves as the fundamental building block of all biotechnologies.

“We continue to allot a sizeable amount of fund to our R&D institutions towards providing modern equipment needed to ensure that our scientists and researchers are familiar with latest methods and approaches to biotechnology research,“ Ebora said.

Ebora also stressed the importance of helping our researchers manage and exploit the intellectual property of their projects, researches and products for the economic benefit of the country.

Biotechnology has revolutionized major sectors in our society with the creation of new industries such as bioremediation (clean-up using microorganisms), diagnostics, and novel processing technology.

The week-long biotechnology celebration which starts on July 2 will be held at the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Soils and Water Management, Elliptical Road cor. Visayas Ave., Diliman Quezon City.

For more information, please contact DOST-PCASTRD at telephone nos. 837-2071 loc. 2102 to 2109. (Janet Rosalie Anne H. Polita, PCASTRD-DOST)

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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