The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) participated in the opening of the 12th National Biotechnology Week (NBW) celebration on November 21 at the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) in Quezon City. The theme of the weeklong celebration was Bioteknolohiya: Kaagapay sa Pangkalahatang Kaunlaran. Yakapin ang pagbabago, Biotek na tayo!”.

High-ranking officials of the participating departments, namely, Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Trade Industry (DTI), and the Department of Health (DOH), graced the opening ceremonies. ERDB Assistant Director Dr. Antonio M. Daño was also in attendance to represent the DENR.

The highlight of the opening program was the keynote message delivered by former senator and biotech advocate Dr. Aquilino “Nene” Q. Pimentel. During his speech, Dr. Pimentel asserted that biotechnology is a vital component for the full development of a nation and for hunger and poverty reduction.

Right after the opening ceremonies, the program proceeded to the ribbon cutting and official launching of the exhibit at the BSWM grounds. Different agencies set up their booths for the exhibit visitors to see. ERDB, likewise, featured its phytoremediation technology.

Aside from the exhibit, a trade fair for different biotechnology products were also arranged at the BSWM grounds and at the Quezon City Hall walkway. Talks, seminars, and other activities were also held during the weeklong celebration that lasted until November 25. Melanie N. Ojeda, TTD