Philippines | BCH-EXP-PH-100162 | Biosafety Expert | Biosafety Clearing-House


Biosafety Expert (EXP)

published: 13 Nov 2008 last updated: 29 May 2015
General information
Profile of the expert
Saturnina C. Halos has more than 10 years experience in biosafety systems development and implementation. She participated in drafting the first biosafety policy of the Philippines of 1990. Since 1999, she provided technical advice to the Department of Agriculture in formulating biosafety policies that include 2 administrative orders and 15 memo circulars. She participated in the final discussions of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, served as technical consultant in the drafting of the National Biosafety Framework of the Philippines and participated in the national consultations on CPB ratification and COP-MOP issues discussions. She designed and helped implement capacity-building strategies such training courses, workshops and seminars on risk assessment, LMO detection and post-approval monitoring for the Department of Agriculture in implementing biosafety policies.
- Person: Dr. Saturnina Halos | BCH-CON-PH-254397-2
Dr. Saturnina Halos
2027 Pleasant Village
College, Laguna
4031, Philippines
Phone: +63 49 536 3224,
Fax: +63 49 536 3224,
  • Filipino
Details of current employment
Department of Agriculture (DA-BAT)
Government agency (National/Federal)
Biotechnology Advisory Team
Government agency (National/Federal)
Provide technical advice and assist in the Office of the Undersecretary for Policy and Planning, Department of Agriculture, Government of the Philippines in formulating and implementing biotechnology policies and programs.
Employment history
  • Philippines
International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA)
SEAsia Center
Non-governmental organization (NGO)
Provide technical advice and assist in the Office of the Undersecretary for Policy and Planning, Department of Agriculture, Government of the Philippines in formulating and implementing biotechnology policies and programs.
Post-secondary education A. Formal education
First Degree
Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (Magna Cum laude)
University of the Philippines, Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines
Second Degree
Third Degree
B. Other professional qualifications
  • Participant, DA-AGILE US Study tour on biotechnology regulation Sept-Oct. 2002
  • Participant, DA-ISAA Training Workshop on Safety Assessment of Genetically Modified Crops and Food July 1-3, 2002 Manila Philippines
  • Participant, Asia Subregional Workshops on Risk Assessment & Management and Public Awareness and Participation, UNEP-GEF Project on National Biosafety Frameworks, Jan 21-24, 2003, Malaysia
Areas of expertise
  • Biosafety systems development and implementation expertise
  • Biosafety policy
  • Biotechnology policy
  • Risk assessment and risk management
  • Halos, SC. 2008. The Abaca (Includes a section on the consensus document on the biology of the abaca). Biotechnology Coalition of the Philippines. Diliman, Quezon City. 188 pp.
  • Halos, SC. 2005. Addressing the environmental risks of modern biotech products in : Science-Based Reviews: Issues and Concerns of Modern Biotechnology Tecson-Mendoza EM ed. National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) Philippines, Manila pp 3-136
  • Halos, S. AG La Viña, MS Lim & Mj Caleda eds. 2004. Developing the Nationak Biosafety Framework for the Philippines. Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources-Protected areas and Wildlife Bureau. Quezon City, Philippines
Professional memberships
  • National Research Council of the Philippines
  • Philippine Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Crop Science Society of the Philippines
  • Biotechnology Advisory Team, Department of Agriculture- I Served as Chair of the Team from 2002-date. As Chair, I receive specific instructions from the Undersecretary for Policy and Planning to convene the Team to discuss specific biosafety policy issues and help formulate biosafety policies.
  • Secretary's Technical Advisory Group, Department of Agriculture, I served as member from 1998-2003. I provided directly to the Secretary of the Department advice on biotechnology and biosafety policies. I wrote policy papers and issuance's on biotechnology development for the Secretary. I provided technical advice in the formulation of Administrative Order No.8 Series of 2002, the basic biosafety policy of the Department and helped finalize the policy statement on the safe and responsible use of modern biotechnology signed by President GM Arroyo July 16, 2001. During this period I formulated and got approval for the current national biotechnology program being implemented by the Biotechnology Program Implementation Unit of the Department.
  • Technical Committee on Applied Biotechnology Researcg, DA-PL480 Biotechnology Program. Dept. of Agriculture, I served as Chair 2001-date. The Technical Committee on Applied Biotechnology Research is responsible for evaluating and recommending for funding and support and for monitoring the implementation of specific biotechnology projects deemed relevant to the program of the Department. I sign for all the official documents prepared by the Committee.
Language proficiency
  • English
  • Other (Ilocano/Filipino)
Language Level
English excellent
Other excellent
Any other relevant information
Having been closely associated with the efforts of the Department of Agriculture in developing its regulatory system for GM crops, I believe I have a lot of experiences from which other developing countries would learn. Management of public participation is one such experience. Our experience of being able to draw participation of various sectors in policy formulation without loss of over-all policy direction is one. Also, my experience at assessing gaps in biosafety implementation and designing appropriate capacity-building programs and tools would most likely help other developing countries. Our capacity to implement a fairly strict biosafety regime at minimal expense is also worth learning about.
Nomination Type
Roster of Experts Open-ended Online Expert Forum on RA&RM
Birth Place
Other Publications

Halos, SC, Padolina WG 2000 HArnessaing the Tools of Agri-Biotechnology PIDS DRN 2000 Vol. XVIII No.3
Halos, SC. 2000 Agricultural Biotechnology Research and Development in the Philippines: The Need for Strategic Approach PIDS DP 2000-17
Halos, SC. Definig the Agricultural Biotechnology Policy of the Philippines PIDS PN 2000-06
Davis, CC, Halos, SC., Ponce, ER., Lamug, CB. 1999 Philippine National Agricultural and Natural Resources Research System: Resource Allocation Issues and Directions for Reforms PIDS DP 1999-33
Halos, SC. 1999 Agriculture Technology Acquisition, Development and Dissemination in the Private Sector PIDS DP 1999-18
Relevant Awards

USDA FAS Cochran Fellow, US Study Tour on Biotechnology and Biosafety Sept.-Oct. 2001
Salzburg Seminar Fellow, Salzburg Seminar Session 392 Biotechnology: Ethical, Legal and Social Issues Oct 14-21, 2001, Salzburg, Austria
Recipient, Eusebio Y. Garcia Award in Molecular Biology, National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP), Manila, Philippines
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