Department of Science and Technology VI (DOST VI) organized the first Stakeholders’ Forum for Biotechnology in Negros Occidental last June 4, 2024 at The Inns, Bacolod City.
Engr. Glady T. Reyes, Negros Occidental Assistant Provincial Science and Technology Director, stated that the forum aims to explore the possibility of establishing the biotechnology industry on the resource-rich island of Negros and will discuss the stakeholders’ present biotechnology initiatives.
Mr. Phil Aidan C. Cruz, Research and Development Manager of Herbanext Laboratories, established the tone for the forum by drawing an analogy between biotechnology development in the Medicon Valley between Denmark and Sweden and its prospective influence on Negros and Panay.
Dr. Jonel P. Saludes, DOST Balik Scientist and Vice President for Research and Global Relations at the University of San Agustin (USA), discussed the biotechnology projects of USA, as well as the opportunities and trends in the Southeast Asia.
Dr. Carmelo del Castillo, Director of the University of the Philippines Visayas National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (UPV-NIMBB), presented their various aquaculture-related biotechnology projects; while Mr. Albert Christian S. Suñer, Assistant Branch Director of Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) Negros, introduced the biotechnology efforts of PhilRice.
Engr. Allan Francis P. Dara-ug, Negros Occidental Provincial S&T Director, and Ms. Keithlyn Sarah B. Bernardino, Head of DOST VI Regional S&T Operations, summarized the outputs of the forum and expressed the commitment of DOST in the further development of the biotechnology industry in the region.
Stakeholders present in the forum come from various state universities, higher education institutes, local government units, national government agencies and the private sector. (RRRGarcia/DOST Negros Occidental)