The National Committee on Biosafety of the Philippines is spearheading the development of a multi-year regional proposal on biosafety on the sustainable implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. The country will focus on the two thematic areas: 1) Handling, Transport, Packaging, and Identification of LMOs; and 2) Information Sharing and Strategic Knowledge Management & Sustaining Regional Cooperation and Coordination. At the regional level, the project will be led by the United Nations Environment Program while the Competent National Authorities: DA, DOST, DENR and the DOH, will implement the activities the national level. Funding for the project will come from the STAR 7th Cycle Global Environment Facility in the amount of US500,00. In country contribution will be in the form of facilities and manpower.
Discussions on the project started in January and extended to March wherein the ABF Informal Consultative Committee and UNEP-GEF BCH Project Manager developed the concept note of the proposal. To date, Philippines and Mongolia had submitted the Letter of Intent to the UNEP. Other Asian countries,
The concept note was presented to the GEF Secretariat in October 11, 2019. The mission recognized the importance of regional collaboration not only because it is embodied in the COPMOP9 decisions and commitment of the GEF to support the implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety but most specially, the benefits that will be derived from this endeavor that will contribute to building the capacities of the participating countries to manage and ensure the safe and responsible use of GMOs.
Aware that the project is in its preliminary stages of development, they requested to be informed of any updates on the matter by the beginning of next year. she stated that a representative from the Korean BCH is continuously coordinating with China to participate in the regional project.
Ms. Estacio emphasized that Philippines will greatly contribute in enhancing the regulatory system of its neighboring countries, considering the country’s experiences in research and development, and commercialization of products of products of modern biotechnology.