WHEREAS, the impact of the new technologies on health, agriculture, chemical and pharmaceutical, and environment and natural resources has been a continuing worldwide concern of many countries;

WHEREAS, biotechnology has high potential to improve the quality of human life may have concomitant risks and hazards to health safety, the environment and society;

WHEREAS, the hazards associated with the processes and the products of researches in biotechnology may be minimized, if not totally eliminated, by the different containment levels and procedures observed in the laboratories and greenhouses;

WHEREAS, most of the risks are associated with the field testing and eventual deliberate release of genetically manipulated/engineered organisms into the environment;

WHEREAS, there is a need to constitute a body that shall undertake the study and evaluation of existing laws, policies and guidelines on biotechnology and its related matters, and recommend such measures for its effective utilization and prevention of possible pernicious effects in the environment;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, CORAZON C. AQUINO, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby order:

SECTION 1. There is hereby constituted the National Committee on Biosafety of the Philippines, hereinafter referred to as the NCBP, which shall be attached to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

The NCBP shall be composed of the following:

Chairman -DOST Undersecretary for R & D
Members - 1 biological scientist
  1 environmental scientist
  1 physical scientist
  1 social scientist
  2 respected members of the community
  1 representative each from DA, DENR, and DOH to be designated by the respective Heads of Offices.

SEC. 2. The members of the NCBP shall have the following terms of office:

(a) The term of office of the Chairman shall be coterminous with his appointment as Undersecretary for R & D; and,

(b) All members, excluding the Chairman, shall serve for a term of three (3) years, renewable for another term or more under exceptional circumstances; Provided, That, the members representing DA, DENR and DOH shall hold the positions for the duration of the term of their appointments in such agencies.

SEC. 3. The members of the NCBP shall have the following qualifications:

(a) Filipino citizens of unquestionable integrity who reside permanently in the Philippines;

(b) The four scientist-members shall possess a minimum of seven (7) years of collegiate and post-collegiate training (degree and/or non-degree) in their respective field.

SEC. 4. The NCBP shall have the following functions:

(a) Identify and evaluate potentials hazards involved in initiating genetic engineering experiments or the introduction of new species and genetically engineered organisms and recommend measures to minimize risks;

(b) Formulate and review national policies and guidelines on biosafety, such as the safe conduct of work on genetic engineering, pests and their genetic materials for the protection of public health, environment and personnel and supervise the implementation thereof;

(c) Formulate and review national policies and guidelines in risk assessment of work biotechnology, and supervise the implementation thereof;

(d) Develop working arrangements with the government quarantine services and institutions in the evaluation, monitoring, and review of projects vis-a-vis adherence to national policies and guidelines on biosafety;

(e) Assist in the development of technical expertise, facilities and other resources for quarantine services and risk assessments;

(f) Recommend the development and promotion of research programs to establish risk assessment protocols and assessment of long-term environmental effects of biological research covered by these guidelines;

(g) Publish the results of internal deliberation and agency reviews of the committee;

(h) Hold public deliberations on proposed national policies, guidelines and other biosafety issues;

(i) Provide assistance in the formulation, amendment of pertinent laws, rules and regulations; and

(j) Call upon the assistance of any government agency, department, office, bureau including government-owned and/or controlled corporations.

The Department of Science and Technology shall be the Secretariat of the NCBP, with the member agencies providing additional staff support as the need arises.

SEC. 5. The Department of Science and Technology shall allocate from its present budget such amount as may be necessary for the initial operations of the NCBP and its Secretariat. Thereafter, the funding requirements shall be included in the general appropriations bill submitted to the Congress.

SEC. 6. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately.

Done in the City of Manila, this 15th day of October, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and ninety.


By the President:
Executive Secretary