Press Release
September 23, 2010


The establishment of the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) is an important step in addressing the major health priority problems of the country, said Senator Edgardo J. Angara.

The PGC has been identified by the Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) as a key proponent in keeping the country globally competitive by helping to deal with challenges in healthcare.

Angara, Chair of COMSTE, said, "the top experts and doctors on the COMSTE health sciences panel have said that the PGC will help pave the way towards the creation of a network of health institutions. It will also become an enabling environment for our scientists and researchers."

An estimated PHP 47 Million pesos has been allocated in the proposed 2010 General Appropriations Act (GAA) for the establishment of the PGC. The facility is a project of the University of the Philippines (UP) system, which will house research, diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic services.

"This will be a world class facility which will help our doctors to understand genes and their codes and translate the knowledge into practical applications," noted Angara.

The COMSTE Health panel has said in a report that the center will open up avenues for stem cell research for new cures to old diseases, but its uses are not limited to health. The PGC can also be of use to the food and agriculture industry in the utilization of biotechnology.

"The use of modern technology in the PGC to help the ailing health care system of the country is game-changing and can set the Philippines apart," Angara added.

The COMSTE Health report also indicates the lack of a research culture in the country, including a deficiency in research-focused courses. The PGC is envisioned to address the lack of institutional research infrastructure and jumpstart the R&D innovation in healthcare.

Dr. Ramon Arcadio is Chair of the COMSTE health panel, with members current DOH Secretary Dr. Enrique Ona, Dr. Carmencita Padilla, Dr. Carmelita Divinagracia, Dr. Kenneth Hartigan-Go, and Dr. Fely Marilyn Lorenzo.

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