Technology developers from the public and private research institutions, regulators from the various government Departments, national scientists and academicians, and media personnel all gathered at the Hotel Jen in Manila on 25 March 2015 for the “Science Information Forum on GM Crops in the Philippines: Impact and Prospects”.
The Forum, organized by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), aimed to (a) evaluate the impact of the GM corn technology on Philippine agriculture; and (b) discuss the factors that affect the development, testing and commercialization of Pinoy GM products. Dr. Dolores A. Ramirez, National Scientist and Professor Emeritus of the University of the Philippines in Los Baños gave the Welcome Remarks in behalf of NAST President Dr. William G. Padolina. Dr. Ramirez provided a chronology of the events that transpired and the regulatory process by which the Bt corn was subjected to prior to its commercialization. She also posed the question on why no other crop has been approved subsequent to biotech corn. According to her, adequate data has been provided in support of the technology but it seems that science alone is not enough to popularize the technology. She stressed that the Forum shall serve as a venue for the scientists to provide the necessary information and updates on the GM products currently being developed and come up with recommendations that will guide the concerned authorities in crafting pertinent laws and issuances, as necessary.