QUEZON CITY – The Department of Agriculture through the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (BAFS) and the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), in cooperation with the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (US DTRA) and Black & Veatch, convened the Information Session and Introduction to the “Enhancement of Biosafety and Biosecurity Capabilities Project” held last August 14, 2017 at Luxent Hotel, Quezon City.

The Cooperation Project aims to improve and strengthen the diagnostic services offered by both the BAI and selected Regional Animal Diseases Diagnostic Laboratories (RADDLs). Likewise, the Project supports the promotion of biosafety and biosecurity to keep the country safe from livestock-related diseases including agents that may cause similar symptoms.

In attendance during the two-part event were Undersecretary Segfredo R. Serrano, Office for Policy and Planning, Research and Development, and Regulations; Director Vivencio R. Mamaril, BAFS; Assistant Director Simeon S. Amurao, Jr., BAI; Officials of DA Central and Regional Offices, US DTRA, Black & Veatch, and BAI; and Chiefs and Officers of DA Regional Integrated Agricultural Laboratories (DA RIALs) and Regional Animal Diseases Diagnostic Laboratories (RADDLs). The Part I of the program was on the Orientation on the Laboratory Self-Assessment Tool developed by Black & Veatch to assist the laboratories in the conduct of their gap/needs assessment activities. Part II focused on the Introduction to the Cooperation Project to provide participants an understanding of the project components. The activity also served as a dialogue/forum to level off the expectations among the identified project partners.

Quezon City – Present during the event were (seated from Left to Right) RTD Carolyn T. Bajarla, DA RFO X; RED U-Nichols A. Manalo, DA RFO VIII; Undersecretary Segfredo R. Serrano, DA-OPP; Major Jason Turner, US DTRA; Mr. William Johnson, Black & Veatch; Dr. Minda S. Manantan, DA-OPP; and Dr. Alicia Lustre, DA-OPP. Officials and Technical Officers from BAI, Black & Veatch, US DTRA, DA RIALs and RADDLs also joined the two-part event last August 14, 2017.