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DOST Undersecretary, Dr. Carol M. Yorobe (center) together  with the FPIC-PWC Focal Person Ms. Maria Christina Ramos (8th from left), PWC Vice President Dr. Ida Y. Patron (6th from right) and DOST XI ARD Elsie Mae A. Solidum (5th from right) pose with the  innovators from UPMindanao, DNSC, DOSCST, and PWC during her visit to the Center on June 11, 2015.

Established through the High Impact Technology Solutions (HITS) Program of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Food Processing Innovation Center (FPIC) – Davao has transformed raw materials to finished products since it was launched in 2014.

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Dr. Carol M. Yorobe, the Undersecretary for Regional Operations of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) visited on June 10, 2015 Don Marcelino, Davao Occidental to monitor the implementation of the project “Community Empowerment through Science and Technology” (CEST). Don Marcelino Mayor John H. Johnson warmly welcomed the Undersecretary together with the regional and provincial staff of DOST XI. Mayor Johnson expressed his gratitude for the S&T interventions given to his constituents.


In collaboration with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Regional Offices XI and XIII joined the 2-day National Peace Caravan at Loreto, Agusan del Sur held May 28-29, 2015.

Indigenous People of Barangays Manawe and Kauswagan received services such as immunization of children, HIV testing, oral health services, maternal hygiene kit, scholarships, complementary foods, Ovicidal Larvicidal (OL) Traps, legal consultation, hair cutting, school supplies from the various government offices during the caravan.

geneticThe National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL), through the Agricultural Sciences Division (ASD) and in partnership with the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC), held the Roundtable Discussion on Screening of Genetic Defects in Domestic Livestock Industry on May 14, 2015 at Acacia Hotel Manila.

The RTD focused on animal breeding and development, particularly genetic defects screening of breeder stocks in commercial farms.

Dr. Michelle M. Balbin, science research specialist II of the PCC, discussed common genetic defects in domestic animals. Dr. Balbin gave a background on the local livestock production and genetic improvement program. She discussed the impacts of animals with genetic defects to the industry, which include lower production, physical deformities, and deadly diseases.

According to Dr. Balbin, not all animals show signs of genetic defects. Some animals are carriers that will pass on the defect to the next generation. Dr. Balbin reiterated the importance of testing the herd for the presence of genetic defects to avoid economic losses from genetic defects.

She enumerated common defects in domestic animals, with focus on cattle and water buffalo.. She also discussed genetic defects on swine, sheep, goat, and horse.
Dr. Ming-Che Wu, division chief of Breeding and Genetics, Taiwan Livestock Research Institute, talked about screening for genetic defects in domestic animals. He explained the ACTION scheme: Aware status, Core facility, Team ready, In-time service, Outreach system, and Niche management.

According to Dr. Wu, the action scheme was established for the genetic improvement of elite breeding stocks in private farms of Taiwan using DNA-based screening for genetic defects.

The aware status is for understanding the tools and information they used and further improving them; core facility is about having “key tools” in building data banks; team-ready means having a public-private partnership for a better breeding program; in-time service is for having immediate screening results when needed; outreach system is for assistance of new members; and lastly, niche management evaluates the economic value and outcome of each allelic gene.

Dr. Marcos B. Valdez Jr., OYS 2012 and associate professor, Science Cluster, University of the Philippines Cebu, gave the synthesis of the discussions. Dr. Valdez stated the importance of considering the upcoming ASEAN integration this 2015 in creating a policy on screening for genetic defects in important livestock animals. The ASEAN integration will open markets for trade in the ASEAN countries. According to him, we need to identify measures to ensure that livestock animals that will enter the Philippine market are free from genetic defects.

Acd. Libertado C. Cruz, member of the ASD, served as the focal person and the moderator of the RTD. (Aislynn Fabiola G. Manuel)

probioticThe National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) through its Agricultural Sciences Division, held the Roundtable Discussion on Livestock Nutritional Biotechnology: Pre and Probiotics in Food Animals on May 11, 2015 at Hotel Jen Manila.

The RTD focused on the hazards of the long-term consumption of meat and meat products with antibiotic residues and the use of pre and probiotics as alternatives in animal food production.

Dr. Soo-Ki Kim, professor at the Department of Animal Science and Technology, College of Animal Bioscience and Biotechnology, Konkuk University, Seoul, South Korea, discussed the pre and probiotics and their application in food animal production.

Dr. Soo-Ki stated that the use of antibiotics is already banned in the European Union in 2003 and South Korea in 2011. The ban challenged the development of alternative methods to control pathogenic bacteria. Potential alternatives to antibiotics are probiotics, enzymes, immune modulators, organic acids, and herbs.

According to Dr. Soo-Ki, pre and probiotics are used in animal production for the improvement of animal productivity, reduction of environmental pollution, and production of designed animal food. He suggested areas for future research, which include safety of animal probiotics and verification of efficacy of probiotics, among others.

Dr. Loinda R. Baldrias, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of the Philippines Los Baños, discussed antibiotic residues in meat and meat products and their implications to human health.

She discussed the benefits of using antibiotics in animal production to the producers (production efficiency), consumers (affordability and improved quality), and animals (improved health). However, excessive antibiotic use in animal production causes antibiotic residues that may lead to antimicrobial resistance in consumers.

According to Dr. Baldrias, antibiotic residues may be caused by the following: giving antiobiotics to animals without availing of proper veterinary services, the non-observance of withdrawal period (time between the disappearance of drug effects and the point at which the drug concentration in the animal reaches the “safe” level, improper dosing, and emergency slaughter and sale of treated animals without certification of treatment, among others. She suggested promoting awareness among producers of antibiotic resistance and heightened surveillance through regular mandatory testing to help address the issue of antibiotic resistance.

Dr. January M. Nones, officer-in-charge, Laboratory Division, National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS), discussed the current status of antibiotic usage and residue monitoring in the Philippines. Dr. Nones gave an overview of the programs under the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) and the National Veterinary Drug Residue Monitoring Program (NVDRMP). She talked about the analytical methods for residue control and the results of their screening test methods, such as the microbial inhibition test (MIT) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

Dr. Minda S. Manantan, executive director of NMIS, explained the limitations of their programs and suggested ways on how to address regulatory enforcement issues. She recommended strengthening the coordination among partner agencies to ensure regulatory action and method development that would strengthen the regulation of banned drugs and monitoring of the proper usage and withdrawal of regulated drugs.

Dr. Davino P. Catbagan, assistant secretary for Livestock of the Department of Agriculture (DA), discussed the regulation and policies on the use of antibiotics in food animals in the Philippines. He talked about the legal bases for the regulation of the use of antibiotics, which included various republic acts and administrative orders.

Implementing agencies in the regulation of veterinary drugs and products (VDAP) are the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Health (DOH), and the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI). Dr. Catbagan discussed the importance of and the different requirements in labeling, promoting, and advertising of VDAP.

Dr. Edwin C. Villar, director of the Livestock Research Division, Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), gave a comprehensive synthesis of the discussions, while Academician Libertado C. Cruz served as the focal person of the RTD. (Aislynn Fabiola G. Manuel)