Activities for this year’s celebration of the National Biotechnology Week would confirm that biotechnology is not only for scientists, policymakers, and farmers. Biotech, organizers assure, has something to offer to everyone.

The annual event adopted the theme “Bioteknolohiya para sa Kalikasan, Kalusugan. Kagandahan, Kabuhayan, at Kaunlaran,” which will be held November 22-29, 2009 at the Nido Fortified Science Discovery Center in SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City. It will highlight biotechnology breakthroughs in the country that are expected to attract strong interest from environmentalists, health enthusiasts, beauty buffs, entrepreneurs, decision makers, development advocates, and including activities for students and kids.

Opening ceremonies is set Nov. 23 followed by a press conference, a forum on business opportunities, and national council meeting of the Biotechnology Information and Organization Network.

Other activities during the week include (Nov. 24) BIONet National Congress, 2nd Malunggay Congress, and Scientific Forum, (Nov. 25) Biotech for Kids, Biotek Pangakabuhayan, DNA Forensic Workshop for  Officers of PNP’s Women and Children’s Desk, and Techno-mart, (Nov. 26) Seminar on Genetically Modified Drought-Tolerant Crops, Educational Forum for High School Students, and J. Burgos Awards for Biotech Journalism, (Nov. 27) National Biotech Conference for Teachers (Heritage Hotel, Pasay City), NIMBUS Scientific Conference and General Assembly 2009 and Techno-mart, (Nov. 28) Public Forum on Health (Newborn Screening and Vaccine) and Techno-mart, (Nov. 29) Public Forum on Biosafety, Public Forum on Avian and Swine Flu, and Techno-mart.

All activities will be held at the Nido Fortified Science Discovery Center at the SM MOA, except for the National Biotech Conference for Teachers that will be held at the Heritage Hotel in Pasay City.

NBW build-up activities are also set throughout the country from June to November such as seminars, workshops, trainings, exhibits, investors’ forum, techno-demo, and educational fora.

Meanwhile, DOST’s Philippine Science High School system will hold educational fora on November 6 in Iloilo and November 23 in Davao to improve the understanding of secondary school students, teachers, and the public on current advances, issues, applications, and career opportunities in biotechnology.

Other important activities for November include the awarding of research fellowships in Nueva Ecija, and holding of the International Forum on Insect Resistance Management for GM (genetically modified) Crops.

This year’s NBW is led by the Department of Science and Technology, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Department of Health, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Education, and Department of Trade and Industry.

Participating non-government organizations include the Biotechnology Coalition of the Philippines, Biotechnology Information and Organization Network Pilipinas (BIONet), Biotechnology for Life Media and Advocacy Resource Center, and National Initiative for Multi-Disciplinary Bioinformatics Utilization Strategies.

[For more information on the 2009 NBW, please log on to  or call Dr. Virginia Novenario-Enriquez or Janet Polita of DOST’s Philippine Council for Advanced Science and Technology Research and Development at (632) 837-2071 local 2102 or 2109.] 

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