Press Release
July 19, 2010


Sen. Edgardo J. Angara today urged the Aquino administration for avenues to develop biotechnology as means to remedy the country's environmental issues. He also called on the DENR and the DOST for more cooperation with the private sector for investments.

"Biotechnology can resuscitate our contaminated environment by eliminating pollutants and wastes from industrial and household activities. Biological agents can remove contaminants from our rivers, creeks and canals. We can adopt an approach that goes into the very level of genes and chromosomes of organisms in order to reduce our carbon footprint," noted Angara, Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science & Technology and Engineering (COMSTE).

Angara earlier warned the country of aggravated effects of the rainy and typhoon season that has so far struck with Typhoon "Basyang." He pointed out the threats of similar gravity as last year's Ondoy and Pepeng tragedies, saying that the environment needs immediate remedies and effective implementation of new technologies to minimize retributions to nature.

"Biotechnology is also used in engineering organisms to adapt to different environmental stresses caused by natural and human activities. Marine flora and fauna can be one of the major beneficiaries of biotechnology since they are the ones plagued by oil spills, petroleum seepages and other forms of pollution," he added.

Angara was speaking to health and environment experts last week and emphasized the need to tap the country's reserves and develop biotechnology as alternative to environmentally harmful practices.

He also urged the DOST, DENR, the academe and various players in the private sector to establish a solid network of partners to accelerate innovation and strong exchange of disciplines and best practices.

"A great example of inter-institutional linkage is the collaboration between Harvard, MIT, and the Whitehead Institute for Medical Research. This was set up in 2004 by the Broad Institute with the aim to fulfill the promise of the Human Genome Project for new advances in medicine," he said.

Under the said collaboration, the Broad Institute gathered a team of scientists, physicians, and engineers who work together in molecular biology, genomics, chemistry, engineering, computational science, and medicine. And in its first two years, they are already providing new insights into diseases and their cures.

Angara stressed that "there is a glaring need for us to boost the capabilities of our colleges and universities to provide a strong foundation that can address the lack of scientists and a strong research base in biotechnology. By producing scientists that specialize in biotechnology, our educational system can help stimulate the growth of this field. We need to identify where to introduce biotechnology into the curriculum to promote the increase of biotechnologists."

News Latest News Feed