Addressing Seeds and Modern Biotechnology
Issues and Concerns
The advocacy for timely review and approval of biosafety (new and for renewal) applications for cultivation and direct use, the Industry was able to push the extension of validity of biosafety permits during the lockdown period. Timelines for processing had also improved, compared to previous years.
CLP, in tandem with the Biotech Coalition of the Philippines (BCP) also contributed substantial inputs in the on-going review of the Joint DA-DENR-DOST-DOH-DILG Circular on the Regulations of Biotech Crops in the Philippines.
The Industry also reiterated its, CLP’s position is that that the product of New Breeding Techniques (NBT) should not be subjected to GM Regulations per se. An enabling policy is expected to be issued in 2021.
The advocacy on illegal seeds took a higher ground. This time, there were several avenues,
(a) Through biosafety permitting where CLP submitted its position paper and
Online dialogue with BPI as regards the exclusive rights of permittee in biosafety permits;
(b) through Plant Incorporated Protectant (PIP) registration with FPA to regulate Seeds with PIP under PD 1144;
(c) through a stronger seed law via amendment to the Seed Act where the House of Representatives has already conducted committee hearing, thereafter the three bills were to be consolidated by the Technical Working Group in Congress to come up with a substitute bill.
(d) Through active social media presence focused on the disadvantages of using illegal seeds.Finally, CLP reached out to the legislature in the process of amendment of the organic agriculture act of 2010. The original bill contains provisions discriminatory against biotechnology. As a result thereof, these provisions were deleted in the final version of the bill which was already signed into law in December 2020.