In the launching of the Philippine Genomics Center in Shangri-la Hotel Makati City, Mario Montejo, Science and Technology Secretary, said that DOST will be focusing in its genomics program on health, agriculture, livestock, fisheries and biodiversity. DOST introduced Genomics, a flagship program that is considered as a game-changing tool that may offer vast rewards to people. This is concerned with the study of the genomes or the entire set of genes in an organism. Genomics aims to study the cycle of the genome in an organism. This will output some applications in medicine, agriculture, ecology, and bio-processing. Montejo further explained that DOST will provide funds to sustain health researches on diseases likedengue, TB, AH1N1, cancer, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes and genomic studies on endemic crops, staples, bio-products fisheries and livestock to notably improve the production in agriculture. Genomics’ initial plan includes improving the brood stock for the cultured bangus and tilapia, fighting top virus affecting abaca, and addressing the dreaded Panama disease now affecting banana growers in Mindanao. Also, Genome-based research had collaborated with scientific disciplines, public research and development institutions, policy makers, academe and industry sectors.
Genomics requires more scientists and experts to develop a sustainable program. With appropriate resources to support the operational and infrastructure demands of research and development, this project will be feasible. DOST implemented Balik Scientist Program, this will bring more Filipino scientists, informatics experts and engineers. These people are now working outside the Philippines to guide domestic scholars and supervise genome-related projects. DOST continues to support genomics research projects through funding from the following councils: Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development, Philippine Council on Health Research and Development, and Philippine Council on Agriculture Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development. [via dost.gov.ph]