Saturday, July 08, 2006

Govt Declares National Biotech Week

President Gloria-Macapagal Arroyo has proclaimed the first week of July 2006 as National Biotechnology Week (NBW), citing the need to promote safe and responsible use of modern biotechnology and its products to attain and sustain food security and industry development.

In her proclamation, the President noted that "modern biotechnology and its products can be means to achieve equitable access to health services and sustainable and safe environment."

The President appointed Secretary Estrella F. Alabastro of the Department of Science and Technology to chair the National Biotechnology Week Committee, with the secretaries of the departments of Agriculture, Health, Environment and Natural Resources, Trade and Industry, Interior and Local Government as members.

Secretary Alabastro said that the week-long celebration on July 2-7 focuses on the theme "Securing the Philippines' Niche in the Global Bio-Enterprise" and has two-fold aims.

One is to cultivate public understanding of the science and technology behind biotechnology and another, to encourage entrepreneurship in bio-based technology enterprises, which are seeing a global market boom.

Starting the festivities is a biotechnology quiz July 2 at 2:30-3:30 p.m. A week-long technology exhibit and trade fair will open on Monday, July 3, at 9 a.m. to highlight the various applications and commercial potentials of biotechnology products in the Philippines.

A major part of the NBW program, to be held at the Bureau of Soils and Water Management, Elliptical Road cor. Visayas Ave., Quezon City, are public forums designed for students, teachers, entrepreneurs, would-be entrepreneurs, and the general public for them to know about useful biotechnologies as well as the business opportunities, regulatory requirements, and intellectual property rights in bio-business.

The National Biotechnology Week celebration will also highlight DNA forensics technology in a whole-day forum as well a premiere showing of a training video on the technology.

Capping the week-long program are the launching of business partnerships of the departments of Agriculture (DA) and Science and Technology (DOST). Admission to the week-long program is free.

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