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WHEREAS, there is rapid expansion of the use of modern biotechnology not only for scientific research but also for products for commercial releases and purposes;

WHEREAS, there is concern over modern biotechnology’s potential impacts on the environment, particularly on biological diversity, on human health, and on social and cultural well-being;

WHEREAS, it is the policy of the State to promote the safe and responsible use of modern biotechnology and its products as one of the several means to achieve and sustain food security, equitable access to health services, sustainable and safe environment and industry development;

WHEREAS, the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity which the Philippines signed on 24 May 2000 entered into force on 11 September 2003;

WHEREAS, the National Committee on Biosafety of the Philippines (NCBP), Department of Science and Technology, Department of Agriculture, Department of Health, and Department of Environment and Natural Resources have played, since 1987, a pioneering and important role in developing and establishing the current biosafety system;

WHEREAS, there is a need to enhance the existing biosafety framework to better respond to the challenges presented by further advances in modern biotechnology and to comply with the administrative requirements of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby order:

SECTION 1. Adoption and Operationalization of the National Biosafety Framework. The National Biosafety Framework (NBF) for the Philippines, attached hereto as Annex A, is hereby adopted.

SECTION 2. Scope and Objectives. The NBF shall have the following scope and objectives:

2.1 Scope. The NBF shall apply to the development, adoption and implementation of all biosafety policies, measures and guidelines and in making biosafety decisions concerning the research, development, handling and use, transboundary movement, release into the environment and management of regulated articles.

2.2 Objectives. The NBF shall have the following objectives:

2.2.1. Strengthen the existing science-based determination of biosafety to ensure the safe and responsible use of modern biotechnology so that the Philippines and its citizens can benefit from its application while avoiding or minimizing the risks associated with it;

2.2.2. Enhance the decision-making system on the application of products of modern biotechnology to make it more efficient, predictable, effective, balanced, culturally appropriate, ethical, transparent and participatory; and

2.2.3. Serve as guidelines for implementing international obligations on biosafety.

Section 3. Administrative Framework and Decision-Making Processes. In making biosafety decisions, the administrative system and decision-making processes established in the NBF shall be complied with.

Section 4. Strengthening the National Committee on Biosafety of the Philippines (NCBP). The NCBP is hereby strengthened. Its mandate, functions, composition and organization are set forth in the NBF.

Section 5. General Mandate on Departments, Offices and Agencies. The mandates, jurisdictions and other powers of all departments and agencies in relation to biosafety and biotechnology shall be guided by the NBF and coordinated with the NCBP and each other in exercising such powers.

Section 6. Funding. The DOST, DENR, DA, and DOH shall allocate funds from their present budgets to implement the NBF, including support to the operations of the NCBP and its Secretariat. Starting 2006 and thereafter, the funding requirements shall be included in the General Appropriations Bill submitted by each of said departments to Congress.

These concerned departments shall enter into agreement on the sharing of financial and technical resources to support the NCBP and its Secretariat.

Section 7. Transition. The NCBP and its present members shall continue to exercise their present functions under Executive Order No. 430, s. 1990 until such time that it has completely reorganized under the NBF. The reorganization shall commence immediately after the DOST, DENR, DA, and DOH have entered into an agreement on the sharing of financial and technical resources to support the NCBP and its Secretariat on a sustainable basis, and shall be completed within one year from effective date of such agreement.

All members of the NCBP to be appointed by the President, as required by the NBF, shall assume their positions upon completion of the reorganization.

Section 8. Repealing and Amending Clause. All orders, rules and regulations or parts thereto which are inconsistent with any of the provisions of this Order are hereby repealed or amended accordingly. For the avoidance of doubt, the following issuances, unless amended by the respective issuing departments or agencies, shall continue to be in force and effect: Department of Agriculture Administrative Order No. 008, s. 2002; the NCBP Guidelines on the Contained Use of Genetically Modified Organisms, except for provisions on potentially harmful exotic species which are hereby repealed; and all Bureau of Food and Drugs issuances on products of modern biotechnology.

Section 9. Effectivily. This Order shall take effect fifteen days after publication in two newspapers of general circulation.

Done, in the City of Manila, this 17th day ofMarch, in the year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Six.


By the President:
Executive Secretary