DOST, UP ‘determined' to strengthen PH’s biosurveillance capacity, says DOST chief

Published August 28, 2021, 5:10 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the University of the Philippines (UP) are committed to strengthen the country’s biosurveillance capacity.

DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña (PCOO/MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña made the assurance as he welcomed President Duterte’s support to UP’s decision to expand the capabilities of Philippine Genome Center (PGC) in Visayas and Mindanao, and for his directive to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to release funds for the expansion of the Center.

“The DOST and UP are determined to strengthen the Philippine capabilities in the emerging technologies which include GNR- Genomics, Nanotechnology and Robotics which will bring about country readiness in frontier technologies,” he wrote on Facebook.

“These are now being realized and we experience first hand their benefits as in the case of PGC’s role in addressing pandemic concerns.”

The DOST chief said the expansion of the PGC’s operations in Visayas and Mindanao “will enable them to do the advanced sequencing protocols which are urgently needed particularly with the coming out of COVID-19 variants.”

The Department of Health (DOH) announced Friday, Aug. 27, that the Duterte government has already approved the P295.7-million budget for the expansion of operations of the PGC in Visayas and Mindanao.

De la Peña noted that the PGC was established through the joint initiative of UP and the DOST with support from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in 2009.

“In 2018 and 2019, the PGC facilities Philippine Genome Center Visayas and Philippine Genome Center Mindanao in UP Visayas and UP Mindanao, were made possible with DOST support,” he said.