Philippine Standard time

We Can Be Friends: Harvesting the Benefits of Coexistence Farming

Transforming Philippine agriculture remains an urgent need, not just because it is intrinsically connected to food security but also for poverty reduction. The technologies brought by the Green Revolution in the 1960s sparked growth in the sector, but it has remained slow compared to some of its neighboring countries. Although the total productivity of the Philippines has not been stagnant, as evidenced by about 32% increase over the past two decades, it falls in comparison to that of Vietnam (73%), Thailand (67%), and Indonesia (50%) (World Bank 2020).

Throughout the years, the government has established policies to support innovative developments for food and agriculture. In 1990, the Philippines gained the distinction of having the first biosafety regulatory system among developing countries through Executive Order No. 430 by President Corazon C. Aquino (DOST-NCBP 1990). The current biotechnology regulatory system is consistent with the National Biosafety Framework and the principles of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. It is governed by five departments: science and technology (DOST), agriculture (DA), environment and natural resources (DENR), health (DOH), and the interior and local government (DILG) through Joint Department Circular (JDC) No. 1, Series of 2021. This sets out the rules and regulations for the research and development, handling and use, transboundary movement, release into the environment, and management of genetically modified plants and plant products derived from modern biotechnology.


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