Nene Pimentel on Biotech: “Leave out the politicians; it is better that scientists takeover”

Posted by on Dec 2, 2016 in Activities, News | 0 comments







Former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr., delivering his keynote address during the 12th National Biotechnology Week at the Department of Agriculture




QUEZON CITY, PHILIPPINES – Former Senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr., captivated the audience in his keynote speech delivered at the opening ceremonies of the 12th National Biotechnology Week on November 21, 2016 at the Bureau of Soils and Water Management Building. His speech encouraged understanding of biotechnology citing that he himself was no expert in the field, but nonetheless recognizes the many potentials of the said technology saying that when it comes to assessing the safety of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), “Leave out the politicians; it is better that scientists takeover.”

It is no secret that biotechnology is one of the most controversial and misunderstood technology and is often associated with connotations that are not founded inconclusive. Pimentel recognizes this fact and says that “our national stand on the matter as to whether or not GMOs or Bt corn should be guided by scientific knowhow.”

The audience nodded in agreement upon saying that the country needs to make full use of the advances in the field, to take hold of our agricultural programs and help free the Filipinos of hunger and ignorance. Furthermore, he attested to the credibility of the scientific method in resolving issues pertaining to food safety for both animals and humans.  He cited the experience of Rosalie Ellasus, a farmer who had been using Bt corn seeds in her one-hectare farmland and gained more than triple the yield of the same farm area with which non GM corn was planted. He also cited the experience of Edwin Paraluman, who had been eating Bt corn harvested in this farmland for the last 12 years, a living proof that Bt corn is indeed safe for human consumption.

In his speech he also cited the ironic practice of other countries when it comes to the use of GM, since “countries who are anti-GM also feed their animals GM feed” and furthermore said that some of these countries have opted to lift the GMO ban in their respective countries.

Now on its 12th year with the theme “Bioteknolohiya: Kaagapay sa Pangkalahatang Kaunlaran,” filled with exhibits, seminars, and other exciting activities, NBW gives emphasis on the role of biotechnology in connecting various sectors of the society.  The celebration takes place every last week of November of every year in accordance to Presidential Proclamation No. 1414, s. 2007 to bring into the limelight the meaningful contribution of biotechnology in the field of food and agriculture, environment, health and wellness, and industry development.

This event was led by Department of Agriculture through its Biotechnology Program Office and co-organized by Departments of Science and Technology, Environment, Health, Education, Interior and Local Government, Trade and Industry and Commission on Higher Education in partnership with DA Agri-Biotech Centers (Crop, Livestock, Fisheries Biotech Centers), DA Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM), DA Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), DA Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA), Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), Biotechnology Coalition of the Philippines (BCP), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), UP Diliman National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (NIMBB), UP Diliman Institute of Chemistry, University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), Institute of Plant Breeding-UPLB (IPB-UPLB), International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), BIOTECH-UPLB, and CropLife Philippines.


For more information, please contact:

Biotechnology Program Office
Department of Agriculture
BSWM Building, Visayas Avenue cor. Elliptical Road
Diliman, Quezon City 1101
Telephone numbers: (02) 927-0426 / (02) 922-0057
E-mail address:


Ribbon cutting with former Senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr., during the 12th National Biotechnology Week at the Department of Agriculture, Diliman, Quezon City

2016 honorees for the Filipino Faces of Biotechnology
Left to right: Mr. Edwin Paraluman, Dr. Benigno Peczon, Ms. Rosalie Ellasus, Dr. Saturnina Halos, Dr. Desiree Hautea, Dr. Nina Gloriani, Dr. Flerida Cariño, Dr. Editha Burgos, Ms. Lyn Resurreccion
Grade 5 students of Mines Elementary School in Quezon City during the Biotech Exhibit and Story-telling of the book “Lina’s Town Rises Again”

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