PH Biotech Community Zooms In on Regulation of Genome Edited Plants in the Country

The Philippines is looking at science-based, market-aligned agriculture, which is the perfect entry for biotech products. This was according to  Dr. Dionisio G. Alvendia, who spoke on behalf of the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture Dr. William Dar, during the Symposium on Risk Assessment and Regulation of Genome Edited Plants on October 8-9, 2019 held in Manila, Philippines. Read more

SEARCA Director honored for pioneering breeding research

A scientist, research manager, and teacher in national and international public and private institutions, SEARCA Director Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio was awarded as Crop Science Society of the Philippines (CSSP) Honorary Fellow. Read more

BIOTECH researchers learn ways to increase research impact

Learnings from a collaboration by the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (BIOTECH) Library and the University Library is surely going to create more impact in the scientific community. Read more

Dar: PHL entering ‘age of new agri revolution’

‘Indeed, we are now entering the age of a new agricultural revolution,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in his speech at the “Symposium on Risk Assessment and Regulation of Genome Edited Plants” on October 8 and 9 at a hotel in Alabang, Muntinlupa City. Read more

GM brinjals are helping Bangladesh farmers earn more, save more, study finds

The study was conducted by US-based International Food Policy Research Institute and the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, a government agency.

New Delhi: Genetically modified (GM) brinjals result in over 40 per cent higher yields at half the pesticide expense of conventional seeds, a report from Bangladesh has concluded. Read more

ISAAA Brief 54-2018: Press Release

Biotech Crops Continue to Help Meet the Challenges of Increased Population and Climate Change

Seventy Countries Adopted Biotech Crops to Provide Solutions to Hunger, Malnutrition, and Climate Change

ISAAA Briefs 54-2018A total of 70 countries adopted biotech crops through cultivation and importation in 2018, the 23rd year of continuous biotech crop adoption, according to the Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops in 2018(ISAAA Brief 54) released by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) today. Twenty-six countries (21 developing and 5 industrialized countries) planted 191.7 million hectares of biotech crops, which added 1.9 million hectares to the record of plantings in 2017. The continuous adoption of biotech crops by farmers worldwide indicate that biotech crops continue to help meet global challenges of hunger, malnutrition, and climate change. Read more

ISAAA Brief 54-2018: Executive Summary

Biotech Crops Continue to Help Meet the Challenges of Increased Population and Climate Change


Biotechnology can be used to develop stress-tolerant and more nutritious crop varieties to protect natural resources and human health. Each biotech crop is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, while approved commercial products in the market have been subjected to rigorous scientific scrutiny. Biotech crops should be considered as a tool for improving crop yields, has unblemished record of food safety, and obtain larger income for food-insecure farmers. These economic benefits, health improvement, and social gains obtained through biotech crop adoption should be made known to the global community so that farmers and consumers can make informed choices on what crops to grow and consume, respectively; to the policy makers and regulators to craft enabling biosafety guidelines for commercialization and adoption of biotech crops; and to the science communicators and the media to facilitate dissemination of the benefits and potentials of the technology. Read more

New technology for protein complex discovery holds promise for biotechnology and crop improvement

Living cells survive and adapt by forming stable protein complexes that allow them to modulate protein activity, do mechanical work and convert signals into predictable responses, but identifying the proteins in those complexes is technically challenging. Purdue University researchers have developed a method to predict the composition of thousands of proteins complexes at one time, a discovery that will speed discoveries about cell functions. Read more

Legacy Monsanto, Cagayan PLGU hold agri-related seminars

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, July 22 (PIA)–Legacy Monsanto Philippines recently partnered with the Cagayan Provincial Learning and Resource Center (CPLRC) under the Office of Governor Manuel Mamba for the conduct of an agricultural biotech seminar for farmers and an agri-counselling seminar for senior high school students. Read more

Lawyers favor agri-biotech in food and medicines

Filipino lawyers favor the application of agri-biotech in food and medicines, a study conducted by the University of the Philippines Los Baños-College of Development Communication (UPLB-CDC) found. Read more

PHILIPPINES: Nat’l Biotech Week 2018 spotlights science, solutions, and social awareness

The National Biotechnology Week is an annual celebration of biotechnology in the Philippines, officially set every third week of November by Presidential Proclamation No. 1414. The celebration highlights the role of biotechnology across vital sectors in the Philippines, from agriculture to the youth. The 2018 NBW happens from November 13 to 17 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. Read more

Philippine’s National Biotechnology Week Opens Today

Philippine’s National Biotechnology Week Opens Today

The National Biotechnology Week is now open! The opening ceremonies were held at the World Trade Center in Pasay City with Senator Cynthia Villar as one of the event’s distinguished guests.

SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center & Know The Science PH joined the NBW and our booth was visited by students from various schools and universities from Batangas, Laguna, and Rizal. The visitors had fun learning about agri-biotechnology, agriculture, and science.

Stay tuned to this page for more updates!

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14th National Biotechnology Week (Philippines)

14th National Biotechnology Week (Philippines)

In observance of Presidential Proclamation No. 1414, s. 2007, the National Biotechnology Week (NBW) is being organized by Departments of Agriculture (DA), Science & Technology (DOST), Health (DOH), Environment & Natural Resources (DENR), Trade & Industry (DTI), Interior & Local Government (DILG), Education (DepEd), and the Commission of Higher Education (CHED), as well as the academe, civil society organizations, and private companies, constitute the National Biotechnology Week Committee with the Department of Agriculture as its Chair for this year’s celebration.

With the theme, “Bioteknolohiya: Pambansang Hamon, Pambansang Solusyon”, this year’s 14th National Biotechnology Week will be held at the World Trade Center Hall D, Pasay City from 13 to 17 November 2018.

Various events and build up activities are being spearheaded by the eight lead national agencies of which details were shared by Dr. Vivencio Mamaril, Director of Department of Agriculture-Biotechnology Program Office, in an interview by PTV-4’s Bagong Pilipinas.  On the other hand, SEARCA BIC will organize Agri-biotech Bootcamp as one of the complimentary activities during the 14th NBW.


For updates, visit NBW’s Facebook page at

Help us in promoting the information about the country’s 14th NBW by using the hashtag: #PinoyBiotech2018 in your social media accounts!

14th National Biotechnology Week Activities:

Awit, Saya, at Bioteknolohiya (Jingle-Making Contest)

2018_NBW_awitsayawbiotekThis contest, organized by the DA Biotech Program, is open to all high school students in the country.

The winning school will receive Php1,000,000.00 worth of science laboratory and library grant, and Plaque of Recognition for the students.

Deadline of pre-registration: October 15, 2018

Deadline of compostions: October 28, 2018

Entries must be sent through e-mail (  Awarding ceremonies will be held at the World Trade Center, Pasig City on 14 November 2018.

For more details, please visit this link:

Madulang Sabayang Pagbigkas para sa Bioteknolohiya

2018_NBW_sabayangdulaThis DA-Biotech Program’s contest is open to all high school students in public and private schools.  The winning school will receive Php1,000,000.00 worth of science laboratory and library grant, and Plaque of Recognition for the students.

Deadline of pre-registration: October 15, 2018

Deadline of compostions: October 28, 2018

Send in your entries through e-mail (  Awarding ceremonies will be held at the World Trade Center, Pasig City on 14 November 2018.

For more details, please visit this link:

Biotech Fan Art: Poster Making Contest

2018_NBW_biotekfanartThis DA-Biotech Program’s competition will enjoin elementary students to create a poster that will represent the theme of the 14th National Biotechnology Week: “Bioteknolohiya: Pambansang Hamon, Pambansang Solusyon.”

Winning school will receive Php200,000.00 worth of IT grant, and Php50,000.00 worth of IT grant for the student.

Deadline of pre-registration: October 15, 2018

Deadline of posters /entries: October 28, 2018
Please send them through e-mail (

For more details, please visit this link:


SEARCA BIC, US Embassy Manila, PHILJA, and PALS Hold Forum on Global State of Biotechnology

SEARCA BIC, US Embassy Manila, PHILJA, and PALS Hold Forum on Global State of Biotechnology

More than 150 executive and legislative officials from the Philippine House of Representatives, as well as selected members of the judiciary attended the Forum on the Global State of Biotechnology, a biotech outreach program conducted by the SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center in collaboration with the United States Embassy Manila, the House of Representatives, Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA), and the Philippine Association of Law schools (PALS). The Forum was held on two separate events held on September 6 and 7, 2018 as part of an outreach grant from the U.S. Department of State.


Experts and scientists enlightened the participants of the two events on different biotechnology issues. Dr. Lourdes D. Taylo, Study Leader of the Bt Eggplant Project of the University of the Philippines Los Baños-Institute of Plant Breeding (UPLB-IPB); Dr. Donald MacKenzie, Executive Director for International Crop Improvement of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in Missouri, USA; and Dr. Evelyn Mae Mendoza, academician of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) spoke about biotechnology trends in developing countries, the judicial and legislative process involved in crafting biotechnology regulations, and the science and strategic importance of biotechnology particularly on the country’s agricultural economy and food security.

Meanwhile, distinguished members of Congress, namely, House Deputy Speaker Cong. Sharon Garin; Cong. John Marvin Nieto, member of the House Committee on Science and Technology; and AGRI Party List representative, Cong. Orestes Salon encouraged the biotech community to continue pushing for the development of agricultural biotechnology in the country and assured the government’s support behind this advocacy. Cong. Salon stated that he is keen to work with institutions in coming up with a more comprehensive legislative agenda. “This is the future, together with organic farming. We need to move fast to create a policy environment conducive to the growth of the [agri-biotech] industry,” he added.

House Deputy Speaker Garin expressed her belief that biotechnology is a key to a hunger-free Philippines. Cong. Garin said, “As long as we make necessary precautions, we can really make a difference. Not just for the state of agriculture, but also for food security. Agriculture and technology can go hand in hand in making that no Filipino is hungry.” – Danellie Joy Medina

Dr. Randy Hautea: Global advocate for farmers and biotechnology

Dr. Randy Hautea: Global advocate for farmers and biotechnology

Dr. Randy A. Hautea dedicated his career to improving the lives of smallholder farmers, especially in developing nations.

As a plant breeder and global coordinator of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agribiotech Applications (ISAAA), he was committed to using biotechnology to breed crops that can help smallholder farmers succeed and ensuring that farmers have access to innovation.

“Biotechnology is one of the tools necessary in helping farmers grow more food on less land,” Dr. Hautea told a Nigerian newspaper last year. “However, the promises of biotech crops can only be unlocked if farmers are able to buy and plant these crops, following a scientific approach to regulatory reviews and approvals.”

Dr. Hautea died July 18 in the Philippines, where he resided with his wife, Desiree, who is also a plant scientist.

“I was privileged to have Randy as my student while he was earning his doctorate in plant breeding at Cornell University,” said Dr. Ronnie Coffman, director of International Programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (IP-CALS). “He was a fine researcher, with a passion for plants and a passion for helping the farmers who grow them. His dedication to advancing agriculture will be acutely missed.”

Dr. Hautea received his M.Sc. and B.Sc. degrees in agronomy and plant breeding from the University of the Philippines, Los Baños, and was a visiting scientist in agronomy and plant genetics at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Hautea was internationally respected for his significant contributions to the understanding and improvement of crops, especially field legumes and fibers. His research focused on breeding crops that were tolerant to various stresses and adapted to intensive cropping systems, as well as improving seed quality.

In recognition of his research achievements, the National Academy of Science and Technology of the Philippines awarded Dr. Hautea its “Outstanding Young Scientist” prize in plant breeding in 1995.

Professionally, Dr. Hautea was director of the Institute of Plant Breeding at the University of the Philippines in Los Baños and team leader of the Philippines’ national commodity research and development teams for legumes, vegetables and root crops before assuming leadership of ISAAA’s South East Asia Center in 1998. He also was involved in assessing the international agricultural research centers of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

Dr. Hautea went on to become global coordinator of ISAAA, a non-profit organization engaged in facilitating the assessment, acquisition, transfer and management of biotechnology applications for the benefit of developing countries. ISAAA operates principally in Southeast Asia and East Africa and is instrumental in tracking the cultivation of biotech crops throughout the world, annually releasing a report that documents the adoption of biotechnology by farmers across the globe, especially in developing nations.

“Randy was an inspiration to all of us who worked in crop biotechnology in developing countries,” said Dr. Tony Shelton, a Cornell entomologist who collaborated with Dr. Hautea on several scientific papers. “He and his wife Des were a dynamic force, showing us all what can be accomplished with dedication, hard work and knowledge.”

As a staunch advocate for biotechnology, Dr. Hautea served on the advisory board of the Cornell Alliance for Science, a global communications and training initiative that seeks to promote access to scientific innovation as a means of enhancing food security, improving environmental sustainability and raising the quality of life globally.

“Randy was deeply committed to our mission, which was reflected in his own life’s work,” said Dr. Sarah Evanega, director of the Alliance. “In honor of his memory, and his great contributions to crop biotechnology, we will name a Randy A. Hautea Global Leadership Fellow from the Philippines to attend our training course this fall.”

In addition to his wife, Dr. Hautea is survived by his daughter, Samantha, a communications specialist at Cornell University who is a member of the IP-CALS staff.

-Written by Joan Conrow in Cornell Alliance for Science.  See original article link here.