By Estrella Z. Gallardo
The Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) recently reviewed Project on developing biosafety guidelines in the ASEAN.
The review aimed to track the performance of the projects vis-a-vis their target and objectives and more so to be sure that objectives and outputs were delivered.
Specifically, the project aimed to review the existing regulatory framework, biosafety guidelines, and existing research protocols on biosafety among individual ASEAN member countries to determine basic parameters for harmonization; benchmark biosafety protocols and standard practices in Asia; and recommend draft harmonization framework and guidelines, research protocols on biosafety, and standards for the ASEAN Region.
During the terminal review, R&D and Food and Feed and Processing (FFP) were recommended as possible entry points for harmonization. This is because Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Member States grouped according to the level of development and/or implementation of the biosafety policy are involved in these activities.
A framework will be created depicting the ten parameters for harmonization and their interrelationships in each pillar and among the three pillars. Pillars of Harmonization Framework were developed in establishing a framework for harmonizing biosafety guidelines and research protocols on biosafety.
The study has produced literature review on biosafety, policy guidelines, research protocols, models of harmonization both worldwide and in the APEC and ASEAN regions, and the conceptual framework for harmonizing biosafety guidelines and research protocols in the ASEAN region
The project under the leadership of Agriculturist Economist, Dr. Leonardo Gonzales, was implemented by STRIVE (Society Towards Reinforcing Inherent Viability for Enrichment by ASEAN member countries while at the same time drafting a framework for a harmonized system of standards and protocols on biosafety. (Philippine Press Club, Inc. (PPCI)).