We collaborate with different partner agencies in organizing capacity building activities for various stakeholders such as Biotechnology 101 courses, communication and media workshops, and other biotech-related workshops (biosafety risk assessment, social marketing, knowledge management, etc.). Likewise, various outreach activities such as knowledge-sharing seminars/workshops, study visits, and essay/quiz contests are also being conducted. Aside from learning events and training courses, SEARCA BIC also monitors and analyzes the biotech articles being published in print media.
Biotechnology 101 and Joint Department Circular (JDC) Public Briefing
The activity aims to familiarize stakeholders with the new guidelines on biotech crops as well as provide factual and science-based information pertaining to the science, environmental and food safety of biotech products, and potential socio-economic benefits of modern biotechnology in the Philippines. Key stakeholders included consumer groups, farmer leaders, students, scientists, academe, information officers, and members and officials of local government units.
Regulators and constituents of concerned government agencies who are directly involved in the monitoring and regulation of biotechnology products such as biotech crops need to be refreshed and updated with the principles and applications of biotechnology. Hence, SEARCA BIC has been conducting training courses on Biotechnology 101 that discuss general information as well as the potentials of biotechnology. Policies related to biotech crop regulations are also being discussed. Lectures are usually entwined with hands-on laboratory and field exercises.
Biotechnology Communication Workshops
SEARCA BIC conducts biotechnology communication workshops for various key stakeholders such as such as project implementers and collaborators, regulators, farmers, the media, and the academe. They are being empowered in communicating the science-based information on biotechnology.
The media plays a vital role in educating the public about biotechnology. With this viewpoint, SEARCA BIC conducts media workshops that focus on science-based reporting of biotechnology, its underlying principles and the issues and concerns surrounding it. During these learning events, the media are also updated and informed about the latest developments in agri-biotechnology and its potentials in addressing current environmental and agricultural issues.
Biotechnology Seminars and Conferences
International and local scientists and experts are being invited by SEARCA BIC to share their knowledge and expertise on biotechnology issues such as regulation, food safety, food security, socioeconomic concerns, and potential benefits, in its biotechnology seminars and conferences that are conducted throughout the country and the region. These activities help in enhancing awareness and clarifying the issues related to crop biotechnology.
Through study or field visits facilitated and organized by SEARCA BIC, key stakeholders such as farmers and the media are able to get first-hand experience and appreciate the process and technology behind the development of biotech crops such as the Bt eggplant and Golden Rice in the Philippines. In these visits, scientists and experts also interact with the various stakeholders to explain the safety as well as the regulatory processes biotech crops undergo before these are being commercialized.
Essay Writing Contest
Essay writing contests on biotechnology and its applications are among the activities sponsored by SEARCA BIC to raise awareness among students on the potentials of biotechnology.
Agri-biotech Boot Camp for Senior High School Students
The agri-biotech boot camp, which began in 2016, is SEARCA-BIC’s build-up activity for the annual National Biotechnology Week. The activity aims to create awareness on agriculture, introduce traditional agricultural technologies and biotechnology, and build interest among senior high school students to consider agriculture, specifically biotechnology, as a career.
Radio Interviews on Biotechnology
In an effort to promote agri-biotechnology and its application to a wider audience, SEARCA-BIC organizes a weekly biotech-on-air program where scientists and experts are invited to discuss biotech-related topics on radio.
MEDIA MONITORING AND ANALYSIS OF PHILIPPINE PRINT MEDIA COVERAGE ON BIOTECHNOLOGY
Monitoring and analysis of articles related to biotechnology that are being published in national dailies, community newspapers, and online sources is an effort of SEARCA BIC to examine the trends and issues on biotechnology that are being reported by the print media.