Progress on biotech


Anne Mariae Celeste V. Jumadla

“Biodiversity, our greatest resource, remains untapped,” stated Senator Edgardo Angara when introducing Senate Bill No. 3140, the Bioindustry Development Act of 2009.

While pointing out that the Philippine government has invested early on in biotechnology, the senator emphasised that it needs to establish the appropriate policy environment to promote bioindustry development.

In 1979, the Philippine government established the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. In the mid-1980s, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) identified biotechnology as a priority investment area and developed the UPLB science park for business development.

The Department of Agriculture organised the Philippine Rice Research Institute, the Philippine Carabao Center and the National Fisheries Research Institute into a network of biotechnology research centres for crops, livestock and aquatic resources, respectively. Still, these investments have not sufficiently fostered the growth of a biotechnology industry.

biotechnology, patent applications