SEARCA BIC participates in annual biotech information network meeting

  • 31 March 2014, Monday

Ms. Maria Monina Cecilia A. Villena, SEARCA BIC Special Project Coordinator and Network Administrator, takes part in the discussion on new initiatives in biotech information sharing.

SEARCA’s Biotechnology Information Center (BIC), representing the Philippines, joined the discussions and sharings on biotech communication strategies and updates during the Annual Network Meeting of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) at Hilton Garden Inn, Hanoi, Vietnam on 18-20 March 2014. Other BIC member-countries who participated were Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Mali, Myanmar, Pakistan, Peru, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Dr. Paul Teng, ISAAA Chair and SEARCA Senior Fellow, facilitated an open discussion on “synergizing” the endeavors of ISAAA and the BIC network. Ms. Maria Monina Cecilia A. Villena, SEARCA BIC Special Project Coordinator and Network Administrator, discussed challenges, developments, and opportunities for biotech education in the Philippines. Ms. Sophia M. Mercado, Project Management Associate, presented SEARCA BIC’s activity milestones in 2013.

In his message, Director of AG Biotech Vietnam Dr. Le Van Tien said that biotechnology is a field that can significantly contribute to sustainable agriculture in Vietnam in terms of addressing its increasing population and coping with unpredictable consequences of climate change. He added that providing science-based information on biotechnology is necessary in bringing the technology to the farmers and consumers.

Ms. Sophia M. Mercado, Project Management Associate, reports activities of SEARCA BIC in 2013.During the meeting, Dr. Le Huy Ham, Director General of the Institute of Agricultural Genetics of Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences, also discussed the status of agriculture and issues on food security in Vietnam. He stated that biotechnology is a strong tool for attaining long-term food security and that there is a big pressure for increasing Vietnam’s food production because of limited agricultural land and flooding in parts of the country. He also acknowledged the need for continuous education of the public on biotechnology.

SEARCA considers the field of biotechnology as instrumental in contributing to the enhancement of food security in the Southeast Asian region. Through its BIC, SEARCA promotes biotechnology by sharing scientific and accurate information to key stakeholders.

Visit SEARCA BIC’s website at or send an e-mail to for more information on biotechnology developments in the Philippines and in the Southeast Asian region.