The Department of Agriculture (DA) Bureau of Plant Industry Plant
Quarantine Service (BPI-PQS) upgraded its molecular testing facility
for plant pathogen and GMO detection in order to enhance efficiency
and effectivity of lab analyses and comply with international
standards. The improvement of the facility and procurement of
necessary equipment were provided through a grant from the DA-Biotechnology
Program Unit through the assistance of the International Service
for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA).
The upgraded facility was donated by DA and ISAAA to the BPI
during the turn-over ceremony held last December 15. “The
Philippines’ biotech regulation continues to evolve and
learn from its experiences since the first approval of GM product
in 2002. We need to set-up necessary infrastructure for the testing
and detection of GMOs and plant pathogen in order to continuously
perform our tasks as the main regulatory agency for biotechnology
in the country” said BPI Assistant Director Clarito Barron
during the turn-over ceremony. To date, the Bureau has now approved
51 events for the direct use and importation of several biotech
crops such as alfalfa, corn, soybean and potato.
The enhancement of the molecular laboratory of BPI-PQS will further
boost the confidence of the general public on the capability of
BPI in implementing DA Administrative Order No.8, the policy that
governs the importation and release into the environment of plants
and plant products derived from the use of modern biotechnology.
With increased capability, the molecular laboratory can carry
out testing of agricultural products suspect of GMOs not approved
by AO No.8 and monitor the entry of pests of quarantine importance.
The facility also opens opportunities to test samples to be sent
by other neighboring countries for GMO and pathogen detection.
For additional information on biotechnology updates in the Philippines,
or visit www.bic.searca.org.
(Jenny A. Panopio, SEARCA BIC)
For more information, please contact:
Ms. Jenny A. Panopio
Special Project Coordinator & Network Administrator
Biotechnology Information Center
College, Laguna 4031
Tel: (63-49)536-2290 loc 169 or 406