On 4 to 8 June, the regulators from Departments of Health (DOH) and Science and Technology (DOST) participated in the 14th International Symposium on the Biosafety of Genetically Modified Organisms (ISBGMO) in Guadalajara, México. For this year, the conference theme was "Environmental Risk Assessment of Genetically Modified Organisms: past, present and future"
The group was composed of Dr. Rodolfo Antonio Albornoz, Engr. Rolando Santiago, Dr. Leonardo Gonzales, Dr. Flerida Cariño, and Ms. Julieta Fe L. Estacio are are members of the DOH and DOST Biosafety committees which are primarily in-charge of the biosafety management of GMOs in the country.
Further, Dr. Gonzales and Ms. Estacio participated in the scientific poster presentation with posters entitled: “Biosafety Regulators Challenge: Measuring and Monitoring the Socio-economic Impact of GMOs in the Philippines” and “Public Awareness and the Asia BCH: The Philippine Experience”, respectively.
Ms. Estacio was also invited to the PechaKucha session wherein the country's experience in public awareness was presented, alongside the collaboration and commitment of the twenty three (23) Asian countries known as the "Asia BCH Family". Also called as the ABF, these countries are continuously enhancing their efforts in implementing the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety by way of the four focal areas in the BCH Roadmap (2016-2020): Compliance, Regional networking and collaboration, Capacity building and Public Awareness and Education.
Attendance in the Symposium provided an opportunity for other country regulators to exchange information and experiences about the latest developments in the field of biosafety. New breeding techniques and results of several years of studies on the effects of GMOs on the environment were also presented with the aim for helping regulators in the conduct of risk assessment and management of GMOs.
The ISBGMO is a biennial, international meeting organized under the auspices of the International Society on Biosafety Research (ISBR) with the goal to advance the standing of biosafety research around the world and shape the ways in which GM technology is applied and regulated. This event brings together academics, technology developers, regulatory authorities, non-government organizations and other credible stakeholders involved in all aspects of biosafety and offers a unique opportunity to share information and experiences and engage in open and meaningful dialogue on biosafety research, risk analysis, policy and regulatory matters.
Julieta Fe L. Estacio
Head Secretariat, NCBP
and NFP, BCH Pilipinas