DTI Sec. Pascual led the opening of the 18th National Biotechnology Week

Trade Sec. Alfredo E. Pascual led the opening of the 18th National Biotechnology Week with the theme: “Responding to the Challenges, Business Opportunities in Biotechnology.” last 21 November 2022 at the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC). In his keynote, he underscores that Science, technology, and innovation are keys to moving the country toward an advanced, inclusive, and resilient future. This week-long celebration of biotechnology takes on a special meaning as the pandemic brought into sharp focus the promising role that this branch of science can play.Sec. Pascual also reported on Biotechnology’s multi-faceted benefits, from creating novel diagnostics and vaccines to combatting debilitating and rare diseases. It can also lessen the environmental footprints, feed the hungry, use less and cleaner energy and make industrial manufacturing processes safer, cleaner, and more efficient.

Thus, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) recognizes biotechnology as a fundamental tool to achieve the primary agenda of the Marcos government – economic recovery and transformation. With biotech, it can realize cross-cutting industry transformation and modernization in, among others, the fields of agriculture, food manufacturing, energy, medicine, pharmaceutical, biomaterials, and bioengineering. Through this, it can boost the agricultural sector and solve the country’s food security issues affected by increasing population and climate crisis-affected agriculture.

Biotech companies can expect ease of doing business in the Philippines. The Board of Investments (BOI) has listed biotech-enabled production, manufacturing, and service-type activities in the 2022 Strategic Investment Priority Plan (SIPP). These firms may avail of tax incentives and perks under Republic Act 11534 or the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act. Biotech-enabled activities related to food security and R&D activities on modern biotech or its commercialization are considered Tier II and Tier III activities. These projects can enjoy better incentives, such as an income tax holiday of at least five years.

The Trade Secretary assures that DTI will continue providing unwavering support to the country’s biotechnology and biotech-enabled industries. The National Biotechnology Week (NBW) is jointly celebrated annually by and among eight agencies, namely the DA, DILG, DOST, DOH, DENR, DepEd, CHED, and DTI – this year’s host. JVL

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