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PIA Press Release

Pinoy biotech products unveiled for investors

Quezon City (26 November) -- A number of Pinoy biotechnology products were unveiled yesterday at the Investors' Forum on Biotechnologies held yesterday from 1-5 p.m. at the University of the Philippines-Diliman Institute for Small-Scale Industries (ISSI).

These products, all needing commercialization, were highlighted as a major component of the celebration of the 4th National Biotechnology Week.

The Department of Agriculture-Biotechnology Program Office (DA-BPO), University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), Biotechnology Coalition of the Philippines (BCP) and Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development- Department of Science and Technology (PCARRD-DOST) sponsored the event.

The forum was held in three rooms, the Teodoro Toribio Room 304, Jose Sanvictores Room 302 and the Open Plaza, at ISSI.

These technologies, DA-BPO director Alicia Ilaga said, were developed in line with the thrust to achieving agricultural modernization and guaranteeing food security.

Ilaga stressed these products are ready for commercialization and invited all participants to invest in them, and noted that biotechnologies could increase food production and generate higher returns on biofuels, particularly ethanol.

She said Senator Edgardo Angara, chairman of the Senate committee on agriculture who also keynoted the annual celebration last Monday, bared that he is working to craft a legislative proposal to grant incentives to investors willing to commercialize agricultural biotechnology products.

This, she explained, shows just how significant lawmakers consider agricultural biotechnology products.

Under Angara's proposal, private sector investors will be granted tax deductions if they engage in biotechnology research and development (R&D) or promote truly Filipino biotechnology products.

Angara is committed to promote the propagation of biotechnology products by local corporations and even multinational companies (MNCs).

Among the products in which private investors are most welcome to venture in are the following: BIO-NOL, a stable inoculum that increases ethanol production from sugarcane, sweet sorghum and cassava developed by Dr. Priscilla Sanchez of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Biotech Implementation Program; Makapuno Embryo Culture Technology, a simpler, faster and low-cost production technology to make true-to-type makapuno developed by Mr. Efren Carba and Dr. Cristeta Cieto of the Philippine Coconut Authority – Albay Research Center; Biological Control of Brontispa in Young Palms and New Plantations to eradicate coconut leaf beetle (Brontispa longissima) developed by Mr. Efren Carba and Mr. Ambrosio Raul Alfiler of the Philippine Coconut Authority–Albay Research Center.

Other products up for investment are: DNA Marker for Tungro Resistance Gene developed by Gabriel Romero of PhilRice; New Rice Varieties Resistant to Bacterial Blight developed by Thelma Padolina, also of PhilRice, and; Processing of Sweet Potato Pickles developed by Julie Tan of PhilRootcrops.

A major marine product innovation is the Post-Harvest Techniques to Optimize Seaweeds Production developed by Dr. Marco Nemesio Montaño of the Marine Science Institute (MSI), which is significant for seaweeds growers in Tawi-Tawi and other areas from where carrageenan is sourced.

Other fisheries and agricultural products seeking investments are: Quick Diagnostic Tool to Detect Diseases in Shrimp and Marine Fish developed by Dr. Leobert de la Peña of SEAFDEC AQD; Bunchytop Virus Resistant Banana (Lakatan) developed by Olivia Damasco, et. al., of the Institute of Plant Breeding (IPB); Virus Resistant Papaya developed by Simeona Siar, et. al., of the IPB, and; the Virus Resistant Abaca developed by Antonio Lalusin et al., also of the IPB rounded up the featured technologies. (biolife news service/PIA 12) [top]

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