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On 21 – 25 November 2022, the annual celebration of the 18th National Biotechnology Week (NBW) pursuant to Proclamation No. 1414, s. 2007, finally kicked off by opening its doors to the public. This year, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) hosted the five-day event in collaboration with seven (7) different national government agencies, namely the Departments of Agriculture (DA), Health (DOH), Science and Technology (DOST), Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) along with other different partner agencies. It was held at the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC) in Pasay City, Philippines. For this year, the theme “Responding to the Challenges: Business Opportunities in Biotechnology” aims to focus on investments in biotechnology to increase economic growth in the Philippines.

As the celebration began, the FDA Deputy Director General for Field Regulatory Operations Office, Dr. Oscar G. Gutierrez, Jr., MPA, delivered the message of support for the event, focusing on the milestones of NBW, specifically on healthcare. The Philippines is taking advantage of pharmaceutical innovation through the promotion of opportunities in Biotechnology to Pharmaceutical Industries despite the challenges they encountered during the decades of Clinical Trials. This ensures the quality of healthcare products and life-saving drugs that produced significant and positive outcomes in the diagnosis, treatment, and cure for existing and new diseases that were considered incurable in the past.

On 23 November 2022, the FDA conducted the DOH-FDA Healthcare Forum on Biotechnology. The event provided information on the causative agent, signs and symptoms, mode of transmission, diagnostic test using Real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction and the Regulation of In-Vitro Diagnostics (IVD) as a countermeasure in case of the prevalence of the monkeypox virus.

The forum was organized and facilitated by the advocacy team of the FDA-PPS to increase awareness in the detection of Monkeypox viral infection among the students and faculty members of the invited different colleges and learning institutions.

The 18th NBW celebration attributed its success to the pharmaceutical innovations that were able to showcase the opportunities and benefits of biotechnology to possible investors in the middle of uncertainties and challenges. It is in this view that the FDA will continuously participate in this engaging annual event to inform the public of timely health topics related to Biotechnology.

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