Press Release
March 4, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara said that the looming worldwide food crisis can be prevented with the implementation of S&T based projects and the continued cooperation of government, academe and industry.

Angara made these statements in light of reports that the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which measures global food prices, may hit an all-time high.

Angara, Chair of The Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) pointed out that the improvement of a national railway system could help battle the rising food prices in the country.

"A good, efficient rail system that can help move people and cargo especially in the distant areas of both Luzon and Mindanao. When I served as Secretary of Agriculture, I could see the abundance of food and goods in Mindanao but their biggest difficulty transporting their products to the consumers," said Angara.

According to Angara, who also chairs the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, railway systems can be built without marring the beautiful landscapes in the country.

"I believe this is possible now because we don't have to destroy the mountains along the way--we can tunnel through using the new technology in train building and tunneling," he said.


Angara pointed out that he also filed a senate bill no. 2055, or the Biotechnology Industry Development Act of 2010, to support the initiatives of COMSTE.

Angara pointed out that the world biotechnology industry is a multibillion industry. Investment in medical biotechnology alone is estimated at US$200 billion whereas investment in agricultural biotechnology was worth US$67 billion in 2003. The start of the 21st century indicates the coming convergence of agriculture and medicine with pharmaceuticals being produced by genetically engineered plants and the greater acceptance of herbal medicine.

The proposed bill, "intends to address the weaknesses of our system to enable the country to develop a biotechnology-based industry. The private sector is given incentives to invest in biotechnology R&D by allowing the total R&D cost and prices of shares of stocks in biotech companies as tax deductible. Majority of the government's investments in biotechnology R&D is awarded through a government corporation so as to lessen the burden of an unwieldy accounting and auditing system."

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