10th National Biotechnology Week launched

By Jade D. Miguel

MANILA, Nov 24 (PNA) — Aiming to promote public awareness and understanding on the importance of biotechnology in nation-building, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on Monday launched the 10th National Biotechnology Week that will jumpstart the weeklong undertaking filled with exhibits, fora and other activities.

Anchored on this year’s theme, “Edukasyon sa Bioteknolohiya: Pagyamanin para sa kinabukasan natin”, the annual event is set to feature a line up of activities targeted to inform the public on biotechnology.

In a press conference held Monday in CHED, CHED-OPRKM Director Dr. Napoleon Juanillo, Jr. shared that the goal of this year’s Biotechnology Week is to promote the role of biotechnology in national development.

“Really our intention is to make visible the gains and role that biotechnology plays in national development,” Juanillo said.

Among the topics being discussed Monday and on Tuesday, November 25 include the management of growth and health of aquacultured species, molecular markers in some high value commercial crops, presentation on the biotechnology research program of the Mindanao State University–Iligan Institute of Technology, nutrigenomics and drug discovery, and food and pharmaceutical biotechnology. These activities will be held whole day at the CHED Auditorium.

Aside from a series of foras, the Biotechnology Week will also conduct the 4th National Biotechnology Quiz for Highs chool at the UP Institute of Biology, 2nd National Nutrigenomics Conference at the Heritage Hotel, and a seminar on biotechnology at the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau-Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) at UP Los Banos College of Forestry and Natural Resources, among others, on November 26.

On the fourth day, November 27, a forum on Pinoy Agricultural Biotechnology, film showings and a seminar on crop biotechnology will be conducted.

The Biotechnology Week will be concluded by the announcement and awarding of winners for the Biotech Shorties Contest, the Department of Agriculture’s Infographics Poster Contest and closing ceremonies.

The weeklong activity was organized by CHED in partnership with the DA, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Education (DepEd), DENR, Department of Health (DOH), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

“We believe that this is one big avenue for our scientists and researchers and advocates as well as innovators in the field of biotechnology to be able to express and communicate with you some of the gains and the value and premium that we should be looking on this particular science,” Juanillo said. (PNA)