In a resolution passed last May 19, 2011, the provincial
council of North Cotabato finally endorsed the conduct of
a field trial for the fruit
and shoot borer resistant (FSBR) - resistant Bt eggplant
in the University of Southern
Mindanao (USM), Kabacan, North Cotobato, Philippines.
The council resolved its decision after several months of
deliberation and public consultations.
Board Member Vicente Sorupia, Jr. said that the proponents
have complied with all the requirements set by the Bureau
of Plant Industry and the decision of Kabacan municipal
council to go ahead with the field trial should be respected
since Kabacan is the host community and the subject of the
Prior Informed Consent Doctrine. North Cotabato Vice Governor
Gregorio Ipong said that the decision on whether or not
to push through with the trials now lies with the proponents.
In a statement, the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)
in USM wrote that the endorsement proves that the local
officials are "open to new knowledge, new technologies,
and useful cultural shifts; that they know how to strike
a balance between facts and myths; discern what is logical,
vital, critical and beneficial; and weigh the merits and
demerits of issues. Above all, they have allowed reason
to prevail over emotions."
They also said that the council "acted on the issue
objectively and mustered courage to take reasonable calculated
risks in search for more truth without necessarily losing
sight of the common good of the people.they exercised rational,
critical and analytical thinking to generate sound judgment
or decisions to unravel more science-based facts that shall
eventually guide them in their future legislative actions
and decisions." (Jenny
A. Panopio and Sophia