UPLABS holds annual National Biotechnology Summit 2018

To continue its mission to raise awareness about biotechnology, the UP League of Agricultural Biotechnology Students (UPLABS), holds its annual National Biotechnology Summit (NBS), a four-day biotechnology awareness program, on March 5-9, 2018 at the University of the Philippines Los Banos. Read more

Filipino farmers trained on biotech and science communication

Filipino farmers trained on biotech and science communication

Farmer-leaders and members of the Asian Farmers Regional Network Philippines (ASFARNET) from all over the country learned about the products, science, safety, and potential benefits of biotechnology as well as strategies and skills for biotech communication during the Trainer’s Training-Workshop Series 2017: Agri-biotechnology Capacity Building for ASFARNET-Philippines on September 21-22, 2017 at the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.

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Social media crucial in agri-innovations

RECOGNIZING the trend of the present day, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications and the Department of Agriculture-Davao conducted last Thursday, August 17, a seminar on Communicating Agri-Innovations thru Social Media at the Pinnacle Hotel and Suites in Davao City.

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Coexistence of agri technologies pushed

MANILA, Philippines – The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) reiterated the increasing importance of safe, and evidence- and science-based agricultural technologies in promoting agricultural productivity and food and nutrition security amid climate change and dwindling production resources.

Among these technologies is biotechnology, including both traditional (such as selective breeding and fermentation techniques) and modern (genetic engineering) techniques, which SEARCA looks at as an important tool in addressing the abovementioned challenges.

SEARCA is strongly pushing for “coexistence,” which, according to a report by the US Department of Agriculture Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture, “is the concurrent cultivation of conventional, organic, identity preserved and genetically engineered crops consistent with underlying consumer preferences and farmer choices.”

Gil Saguiguit, director of SEARCA, made this statement following the Philippine launch of the annual report of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) on the global status of commercialized biotech crops.

According to the ISAAA report, global planting of biotech crops reached 185.1 million hectares in 2016, up from 179.7 million hectares the previous year.

A total of 26 countries grew biotech crops, including the Philippines, which planted around 812,000 hectares of biotech yellow corn last year.

Biotech corn varieties, which are grown in the country since 2003, are pest resistant and herbicide tolerant, thus providing various documented benefits to Filipino farmers including significant increase in yield and reduction in production costs.

Saguiguit said that through SEARCA’s 10th five-year plan focused on Inclusive and Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development (ISARD), the center believes that due attention must be given to resource poor farmers by providing them access to information, best practices, and new technologies that will increase their farm productivity.

Our goal is to give our farmers a fighting chance to cope with the many challenges and obstacles they face in farming. Through biotechnology and many other innovations, we hope to offer them better opportunities so that they can provide not only for their families but also contribute to the nation’s food security and overall development.

Along these lines, SEARCA qualifies that it only promotes agricultural technologies and practices that are known to be safe and do not compromise human and environmental health.

With the continuing opposition to biotechnology, Saguiguit said it is all the more important for the public, particularly decision and policymakers, to understand the said technology in the context of scientific and empirical evidence.

-Published in The Philippine STAR.  See original article link here.

‘Challenged’ SEARCA stresses ‘safe, scientific’ agri technologies

The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) reiterated the increasing importance of safe, and evidence- and science-based agricultural technologies in promoting agricultural productivity, as well as food and nutrition security amidst challenges like climate change, dwindling production resources, rapid population increase and extreme poverty.

Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr., SEARCA director, said that these technologies included  traditional (e.g., selective breeding, fermentation techniques) and modern (i.e., genetic engineering) techniques, which the Center looked at as an important tool in addressing these challenges.

“SEARCA particularly pushes for ‘coexistence’ which, according to a report of the US Department of Agriculture Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture, is the concurrent cultivation of conventional, organic, identity preserved (IP) and genetically engineered crops consistent with underlying consumer preferences and farmer choices,” Saguiguit said.

Saguiguit issued the statement following the Philippine launch of the annual report of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) on the global status of commercialized biotech crops.

According to the ISAAA report, global planting of biotech crops reached 185.1 million hectares in 2016, which increased from 179.7 million hectares in 2015. A total of 26 countries grew biotech crops, including the Philippines, which planted around 812,000 hectares of biotech yellow corn last year.

Biotech corn varieties, which have been grown in the country since 2003, are pest resistant and herbicide tolerant, thus providing various documented benefits to Filipino farmers, including significant increase in yield and reduction in production costs.

Saguiguit said that through SEARCA’s Tenth Five-Year Plan focused on Inclusive and Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development (ISARD), the Center believed that due attention must be given to resource poor farmers by providing them access to information, best practices, and new technologies that would increase their farm productivity.

“Our goal is to give our farmers a fighting chance to cope with the many challenges and obstacles they face in farming,” he said.

Through biotechnology and many other innovations, SEARCA hopes to offer these farmers better opportunities so that they can provide not only for their families but also contribute to the nation’s food security and overall development.

“Along these lines, SEARCA qualifies that it only promotes agricultural technologies and practices that are known to be safe and do not compromise human and environmental health,” said Saguiguit.

With the continuing opposition to biotechnology, the official said that it was all the more important for the public, particularly decision and policymakers, to understand the technology in the context of scientific and empirical evidence.

-Written by James Konstantin Galvez in Manila Times.  See original article link 1717.

From Frankenfood to Light of Hope:17 Years of Agri-biotech Reporting in the Philippines (2000-2016)

From Frankenfood to Light of Hope:17 Years of Agri-biotech Reporting in the Philippines (2000-2016)

This publication features the 17-year (2000-2016) study conducted by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) and SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center (BIC).  The study was conducted to see the trends in media reporting in print and online on agricultural biotechnology. 

PUBLISHED BY: The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA)

CITATION: Tome, Kristine Grace N., Mariechel J. Navarro, Sophia M. Mercado, and Maria Monina Cecilia
A. Villena. Seventeen Years of Media Reportage of Biotechnology in the Philippines. Philippine
Journal of Crop Science xx(xx): xx-xx.

 

Download PDF copy (1MB)The first 10 years (2000–2009) was initially published in 2011 covering the development and commercialization of biotech corn in the country as reported in print by the top three national dailies, Manila Bulletin, Philippine Daily Inquirer, and Philippine Star.

The following seven years (2010–2016) was published in 2017, covering the recent happenings in the Philippine biotechnology arena such as the research and development of biotech food crops, Bt eggplant (pest resistant eggplant) and Golden Rice (Vitamin A-enriched rice). Aside from the top three newspapers, articles published by Business Mirror were also included in the study because of its significant increase in the number of articles on agricultural biotechnology. Online articles from the four newspapers were also included in the study to get more holistic understanding of biotechnology discussion in the country. The articles were classified and analyzed according to type, topic, tone, focus, sources, media frames, and use of metaphors.

Download PDF copy

Radyo Teknolohiya: Interview with Joseph Benemerito, biotech farmer (Philippines)

Radyo Teknolohiya: Interview with Joseph Benemerito, biotech farmer (Philippines)


Joseph Benemerito
, a biotech corn farmer from Alfonso Lista, Ifugao, Philippines, shares his experiences in biotech corn farming and how biotechnology improve his life.  Listen to the interview of Ms. Melly Tenorio, Radio Program Anchor of Radyo Teknolohiya, aired in DZRB Radyo ng Bayan, 738 kHZ on 26 August 2016.

benemerito2

BIOTECH SHORTIES: Potential Benefits of Bt Eggplant (1st Prize, Amateur)

BIOTECH SHORTIES: Potential Benefits of Bt Eggplant (1st Prize, Amateur)


1st Prize, Amateur: Potential Benefits of Bt Eggplant
Michaella Louise V. Candelario
University of the Philippines Los Banos / UP Agricultural Society

 


video_biotechshorties

BIOTECH SHORTIES: Video-making Contest

Organized by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate ...
Read More
/
video_bs_1stprof

BIOTECH SHORTIES: Biotech in Everyday Life (1st Prize, Professional)

1st Place, Professional: Biotech in Everyday Life Anna Cherylle Ramos University of Sto. Tomas ...
Read More
/
video_bs_2ndprof

BIOTECH SHORTIES: Biotech in Everyday Life (2nd Prize, Professional)

2nd Prize: Biotech in Everyday Life Alvin Quiel C. Sabanal Calamba, Laguna ...
Read More
/
video_bs_1stAmat

BIOTECH SHORTIES: Biotech in Everyday Life (1st Prize, Amateur)

1st Prize, Amateur: Biotech in Everyday Life Marielle C. Cruz Polytechnic University of the Philippines ...
Read More
/
video_bs_1stAmat_bteggplant

BIOTECH SHORTIES: Potential Benefits of Bt Eggplant (1st Prize, Amateur)

1st Prize, Amateur: Potential Benefits of Bt Eggplant Michaella Louise V. Candelario University of the Philippines Los Banos / UP ...
Read More
/

BIOTECH SHORTIES: Biotech in Everyday Life (1st Prize, Amateur)

BIOTECH SHORTIES: Biotech in Everyday Life (1st Prize, Amateur)


1st Prize, Amateur: Biotech in Everyday Life
Marielle C. Cruz
Polytechnic University of the Philippines

 


video_biotechshorties

BIOTECH SHORTIES: Video-making Contest

Organized by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate ...
Read More
/
video_bs_1stprof

BIOTECH SHORTIES: Biotech in Everyday Life (1st Prize, Professional)

1st Place, Professional: Biotech in Everyday Life Anna Cherylle Ramos University of Sto. Tomas ...
Read More
/
video_bs_2ndprof

BIOTECH SHORTIES: Biotech in Everyday Life (2nd Prize, Professional)

2nd Prize: Biotech in Everyday Life Alvin Quiel C. Sabanal Calamba, Laguna ...
Read More
/
video_bs_1stAmat

BIOTECH SHORTIES: Biotech in Everyday Life (1st Prize, Amateur)

1st Prize, Amateur: Biotech in Everyday Life Marielle C. Cruz Polytechnic University of the Philippines ...
Read More
/
video_bs_1stAmat_bteggplant

BIOTECH SHORTIES: Potential Benefits of Bt Eggplant (1st Prize, Amateur)

1st Prize, Amateur: Potential Benefits of Bt Eggplant Michaella Louise V. Candelario University of the Philippines Los Banos / UP ...
Read More
/

BIOTECH SHORTIES: Biotech in Everyday Life (2nd Prize, Professional)

BIOTECH SHORTIES: Biotech in Everyday Life (2nd Prize, Professional)

2nd Prize: Biotech in Everyday Life
Alvin Quiel C. Sabanal

Calamba, Laguna

 


video_biotechshorties

BIOTECH SHORTIES: Video-making Contest

Organized by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate ...
Read More
/
video_bs_1stprof

BIOTECH SHORTIES: Biotech in Everyday Life (1st Prize, Professional)

1st Place, Professional: Biotech in Everyday Life Anna Cherylle Ramos University of Sto. Tomas ...
Read More
/
video_bs_2ndprof

BIOTECH SHORTIES: Biotech in Everyday Life (2nd Prize, Professional)

2nd Prize: Biotech in Everyday Life Alvin Quiel C. Sabanal Calamba, Laguna ...
Read More
/
video_bs_1stAmat

BIOTECH SHORTIES: Biotech in Everyday Life (1st Prize, Amateur)

1st Prize, Amateur: Biotech in Everyday Life Marielle C. Cruz Polytechnic University of the Philippines ...
Read More
/
video_bs_1stAmat_bteggplant

BIOTECH SHORTIES: Potential Benefits of Bt Eggplant (1st Prize, Amateur)

1st Prize, Amateur: Potential Benefits of Bt Eggplant Michaella Louise V. Candelario University of the Philippines Los Banos / UP ...
Read More
/

BIOTECH SHORTIES: Video-making Contest

BIOTECH SHORTIES: Video-making Contest

Organized by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture – Biotechnology Information Center (SEARCA BIC) in celebration of Philippines National Biotechnology Week in 2014, the “Biotech Shorties” seeked to express the perspectives of film makers on the benefits of modern biotechnology in agriculture through three-minute videos or “shorties.” Contestants focused on any of the two themes: ”Biotech in Everyday Life” and “Potential Benefits of Bt Eggplant.”

“Biotech in Everyday Life” delves into documented benefits and applications of modern biotechnology. These may include actual and/or potential benefits, products, and impact of applying crop biotechnology in agriculture.

“Potential Benefits of Bt Eggplant” focuses on the potential advantages of the insect-resistant Bt eggplant for farmers and consumers.

ELIGIBILITY
-OPEN to all Filipino Nationals except the staff of ISAAA and SEARCA and their immediate relatives. Joining the contest is free of charge.

CATEGORIES:

Professional and Amateur. The Professional category covers practicing film makers. The Amateur category is limited to ENROLLED undergraduate and high school students. The contestant/s must indicate in his/her entry the chosen theme and category.

GUIDELINES FOR ENTRIES
An entry should be a narrative in video format with a minimum playing time of two (2) minutes and a maximum playing time of three (3) minutes. Entries may be in English or Filipino. They may be live-action, animation or a combination of both. The messages of the videos must be based on proven facts. Contestants may use original, royalty-free, or copyrighted music for the videos. However, contestants who will use copyrighted music must submit a permit to use. A contestant may join in both themes, but may only submit one entry per theme.

File formats: mpeg, mp4, or avi. The file name of each entry should follow this format: category_lastname_firstname (Example: amateur_delacruz_juan.avi).

Entries were submitted in sealed envelope containing the following:
(1) Two (2) soft copies of the entry saved in separate CDs or flash disks.
(2) Sheet of paper with the following details, where appropriate:

– Name
– Age
– Signature
– School/Organization
– Position (if applicable)
– Contact numbers
– E-mail address
– Mailing address
– Topic – “Biotech in Everyday Life” or “Potential Benefits of Bt Eggplant”
– Category – Professional or Amateur

(3) Permit to use if copyrighted music was used in the entry.

The contestant indicated his or her category on the upper left corner of the envelope.

CRITERIA FOR JUDGING
All video entries in both categories were judged based the following criteria:

Original Concept: 40%
Creative Production: 40%
* Directing
* Cinematography
* Musical Scoring
Relevance to the Theme: 20%
100%

Check out and ‘Like’ our Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/BiotechShorties .

VIDEO SHOWING AND PRIZE-GIVING
The winning entries were shown during the 10th National Biotechnology Week celebration on November 24-28, 2014.

PRIZES:

“Biotech in Everyday Life”
Professional
1st place – Php 70,000
2nd place – Php 30,000

Amateur
1st place – Php 50,000
2nd place – Php 20,000

“Potential Benefits of Bt Eggplant”
Professional
1st place – Php 70,000
2nd place – Php 30,000

Amateur
1st place – Php 50,000
2nd place – Php 20,000

COPYRIGHT
ISAAA and SEARCA BIC have the copyright and exclusive use to publish online, reproduce, distribute, display, and create derivative works of all the entries for knowledge sharing initiatives and science popularization activities without further compensation to the artists.


video_biotechshorties

BIOTECH SHORTIES: Video-making Contest

Organized by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate ...
Read More
/
video_bs_1stprof

BIOTECH SHORTIES: Biotech in Everyday Life (1st Prize, Professional)

1st Place, Professional: Biotech in Everyday Life Anna Cherylle Ramos University of Sto. Tomas ...
Read More
/
video_bs_2ndprof

BIOTECH SHORTIES: Biotech in Everyday Life (2nd Prize, Professional)

2nd Prize: Biotech in Everyday Life Alvin Quiel C. Sabanal Calamba, Laguna ...
Read More
/
video_bs_1stAmat

BIOTECH SHORTIES: Biotech in Everyday Life (1st Prize, Amateur)

1st Prize, Amateur: Biotech in Everyday Life Marielle C. Cruz Polytechnic University of the Philippines ...
Read More
/
video_bs_1stAmat_bteggplant

BIOTECH SHORTIES: Potential Benefits of Bt Eggplant (1st Prize, Amateur)

1st Prize, Amateur: Potential Benefits of Bt Eggplant Michaella Louise V. Candelario University of the Philippines Los Banos / UP ...
Read More
/

About Us

SEARCA BIC.

Empowerment through shared information.

 

Recognizing the potential of biotechnology in meeting the challenges in food security, natural resource management, and agro-industry, SEAMEO Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), in partnership with the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), established the SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center (BIC) on 01 September 2000. It became an off-shoot of the Regional Conference on Agricultural Biotechnology in Bangkok, Thailand in the same year that carried the theme “Needs and Priorities in the Context of Southeast Asia’s Agricultural Objectives” that was organized by SEARCA, and co-sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Asia and Pacific Seed Association (APSA).

SEARCA BIC has been proactive in presenting highly accessible and science-based information on biotechnology to different stakeholders as it contributes to an enabling environment for agricultural biotechnology in the region. It continues to remain at the forefront of promoting agri-biotechnology practices, particularly in the areas of science and educational communication, and capacity enhancement. It enables partnerships with various international and local institutions working together with common goal of facilitating the use of biotechnology to address the global challenges of food and energy security, environmental sustainability, and changing climate.

 


Goal

“To address the needs of the region for a highly credible, sound and factual biotechnology information center in the Southeast Asian region accessible to various stakeholders.”


Objectives

  • To serve as the hub of a regional network for science-based information on agricultural biotechnology;
  • To act as information broker among various stakeholders;
  • To coordinate with regional and national network nodes on the exchange, processing, packaging, and distribution of agricultural biotechnology information;
  • To support national programs on agricultural biotechnology by providing strategic information for decision-making; and
  • To synthesize and package science-based information using appropriate formats.


Activities

Biotechnology Information and Communication Resources

Information on biotechnology is developed and packaged into appropriate formats such as information sheets, primers, posters, mentors’ kits, brochures, cd-based knowledge resources that aim to meet the information needs of different stakeholders. These knowledge products are disseminated in various information outreach activities and delivery channels to promote awareness on the benefits and applications of biotechnology.

Further, SEARCA BIC continues to provide science-based information on research and development of biotech crops that are in the pipeline for commercialization in the country. It partners with various institutions in developing communication tools for these products that are dovetailed with its R&D activities.

The E-news Service

The SEARCA BIC Electronic News (E-news) Service publishes events and announcements, biotechnology information and communication products, and news updates on biotechnology around the world, with focus on agri-biotechnology developments in the Philippines and the Asia Pacific region. Information in this e-news service are gathered and to its e-group with more than 70,000 members to date. To subscribe, register online here.

The Website

The SEARCA BIC website (http://www.bic.searca.org) serves as a knowledge portal that provides general information about biotechnology and showcases a gallery of biotechnology information resources, downloadable information and educational materials, presentation slides, and conference proceedings. Likewise, it releases news updates and features on biotechnology, press backgrounders, and event announcements.

Learning Events and Outreach Activities on Biotechnology

The SEARCA BIC organizes and coordinates learning events such as training courses, study visits, workshops, conferences, fora, consultations, media briefing and other outreach activities that may serve as venues for objective discussions and sharing of knowledge on biotechnology. It conceptualizes training modules and programs in risk communication, social marketing of biotech products, risk management, food and environmental safety, and impact assessment of agricultural biotechnology that may be crucial for stakeholders’ informed decision making, capacity enhancement, and technology adoption.

Monitoring and Analysis of Biotechnology News Coverage

The media coverage of issues and trends on biotechnology published in major national dailies , community newspapers and online resources from the Philippines and across the globe are gathered and analyzed to assess the vital role of media in delivering science-based information on biotechnology to the general public. The media, as with scientists, have been highly regarded as credible source of factual biotechnology information that influence public perception, decision making and policy environment formulation.