“Why don’t we utilize the best available technology there is in agriculture?”
This riveting question was posed by Mr. Adriel Dave “Farmer AD” Alvarez, a Cebu-based farmer, in his message of support for the 19th National Biotechnology Week (NBW) celebration held on November 20-24, 2023 in Cebu City, Cebu.
Undersecretary Mercedita A. Sombilla’s message marked the beginning of week-long festivities for the 19th NBW. Usec. Sombilla said in her opening remarks, “The DA’s commitment to biotechnology is rooted in our overall vision of a sustainable, inclusive, and globally competitive agricultural sector that can meet the evolving needs of our nation”.
Together with the Inter-Agency Steering Committee agencies, partners and participants, there was a ceremonial signing of the “Declaration of Support for the Advancement of Biotechnology in the Philippines” wall where they pledged their support.
Following this ceremony is the ribbon cutting of the NBW Exhibit at the Seaview Wing of the SM Seaside Cebu, Cebu City where the DA-Livestock Biotechnology Center (DA-LBC) set up a laboratory for cryopreserved buffalo semen sample viewing for students and booth visitors as one of the main attractions concurrent with the opening of the exhibit.
NBW Snapshot Challenge
The NBW Capture the Moment: Biotech Booth Snapshot challenge ran from November 20-22, 2023, engaging participants from NBW build-up activities of the DA-LBC and exhibit visitors. Four winners were chosen and announced last November 23, 2023.
DA-LBC Booth visitors joined the interactive game titled, “Biotek Tanong” from which they pulled animal biotechnology-related trivia questions from a raffle box, and visitors who answered correctly were given souvenir items.
QuickCArE Test Kit Showcase
The penside diagnostic test kit for the detection of Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis virus of goats developed by the Philippine Carabao Center, was also showcased by technical staff of the DA-LBC in the weeklong exhibit. Actual samples, display and UV box were provided and prepared by Dr. Gabriel Alexis SP. Tubalinal, Head of the Biosafety and Environment Section (BES), Philippine Carabao Center.
7th International Livestock Biotechnology Symposium
A build-up activity of the 19th NBW, the 7th International Livestock Biotechnology Symposium was held last October 18, 2023 in Tagbilaran, Bohol. This activity was attended by over 400 participants from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The DA-LBC also set up a pop-up booth during this activity to further promote NBW activities.
Capacity Building Workshop on Molecular Biology and Modern Biotechnology Tools for Livestock Research and Development
Twenty-one participants from the DA Network were trained at the Philippine Carabao Center laboratories from November 6-10, 2023. A series of lectures followed by hands-on application of basic and advanced molecular biology techniques were guided by technical staff of the DA-LBC. This activity is also one of the build-up activities of the DA-LBC for the NBW.
Weeklong activities organized by the DA-Livestock Biotechnology Center together with the DA Biotechnology Program Office and its partner biotechnology agencies, Fisheries Biotechnology Center and the Crop Biotechnology Center align with the overarching theme of the 19th National Biotechnology Week (NBW) celebration, “Empowering Innovation for a Sustainable Future with Biotechnology”.
Marking the close of the week-long activities, the chairmanship of the 20th National Biotechnology Week was given to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) through a ceremonial passing of the NBW flag earlier today, November 24, 2023.