On 4 to 8 June, the regulators from Departments of Health (DOH) and Science and Technology (DOST) participated in the 14th International Symposium on the Biosafety of Genetically Modified Organisms (ISBGMO) in Guadalajara, México. For this year, the conference theme was "Environmental Risk Assessment of Genetically Modified Organisms: past, present and future"
Since the DA-DENR-DILG-DOH-DOST Joint Department Circular on plants and plant products derived from modern biotechnology took effect last April 16, 2016, the Department of Agriculture Biotech Program Office (DA-BPO) has been incessantly conducting activities in collaboration with other institutions to strengthen the capacity and participation of the five agencies involved in the regulation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
As part of the continuing initiatives in strengthening public awareness on the benefits of modern biotechnology and the safety assessment of its products, the DOST Biosafety Committee Secretariat participated as resource speaker on the 4th Leg of the Biotechnology 101 and Joint Department Circular (JDC) Public Briefing last April 4 in Cebu City.
Aside from the Philippines’ participation as a Party to the 8th Conference of Parties serving as Meeting of Parties for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP-MOP 8) in Cancun, Mexico last December 4-17, it also took the lead as one of the main organizers of the Asia BCH Family’s Side Event entitled “For a Successful Asia BCH Family”.
As part of the country’s international obligation to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, it joined the delegates from member countries in the negotiations on the substantial and outstanding issues during the 8th Conference of Parties serving as Meeting of Parties (COP-MOP 8) in Cancun, Mexico from 4 to 17 December 2016. With participants from the Departments of Science and Technology; Environment and Natural Resources; and Health; the Philippines was able to put forward the Philippines’ position on various areas concerning the safe transfer and responsible use of GMOs to international discussion.