More than 100 legislative officials from the House of Representatives, as well as selected members of the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA), were enlightened on The Philippine Regulatory System for Genetically Modified Crops: DOST-DA-DENR-DOH-DILG Joint Department Circular (JDC) No. 1, series of 2016 during a briefing held at the House of Representatives on February 27, 2019.
Representatives from the Departments of Agriculture, Health, Science and Technology, Interior and Local Government, and Environment and Natural Resources familiarized the participants with the new regulatory guidelines on biotech crops and also provided factual and science-based information pertaining to the science, and environmental and food safety of biotech products.
Expressing his support, Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado, Chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology (S&T), stressed that legislation should be more empirical and scientific. He also noted that the activity is an innovation towards the realization of Research for Development (R4D), which will strengthen the role of science and basic research in creating meaningful governance through policy-making and legislation. Mr. Donald Caballero, Secretary of the Committee on S&T, read Rep. Aumentado’s message on his behalf.
Meanwhile, Ms. Annalyn Lopez, Director-Coordinator of the Department of Agriculture-Biotechnology Program Office (DA-BPO), stated in her message that though some find the current regulatory requirements to be a hurdle, science has enabled the evolution of regulatory approaches and it can be used to improve the effectiveness and agility of the country’s regulatory system.
The activity, which is the tenth in the series of JDC public briefings held nationwide since 2015, was organized by DA-BPO, ISAAA, and SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center (SEARCA BIC), in collaboration with the House Committee on Science and Technology.
(Danellie Joy O. Medina, SEARCA BIC)