Assessment of the Biosafety and Biosecurity Landscape in the Philippines and the Development of the National Biorisk Management Framework.


Introduction: The emergence of biological threats that can potentially affect millions emphasizes the need to develop a policy framework in the Philippines that can mount an adequate and well-coordinated response. The objective of the study was to assess, strengthen, and harmonize efforts in biorisk management through the development of a National Biorisk Management Framework. Methods: The development of the National Biorisk Management Framework was carried out in two phases: (1) assessment of the current biosafety and biosecurity landscape and (2) framework development. Results: This study identified policy gaps in the incorporation of biosafety in course curricula, professional development, and organizational twinning. The desired policy outcomes focus on increasing the capacity and quality of facilities, and the development of the biosafety officer profession. The tabletop exercises revealed weak implementation of existing protocols and unclear coordination mechanisms for emergency response. Based on these, a framework was drafted composed of eight key areas in biosafety and biosecurity, and four key contexts in risk reduction and management. Discussion and Conclusion: Reforms in biosafety and biosecurity policies are expected to improve coordination, ensure sustainability, capacitate facilities, and professionalize biosafety officers. Because of the complexity of reforms necessary, success will require a consistent and coherent policy framework that (1) provides well-coordinated mechanisms toward harmonized risk reduction and management, (2) establishes and enforces guidelines on biosafety, biosecurity, and biorisk management, (3) regulates facilities essential for occupational safety and public health, and (4) is financed by the General Appropriations Act as part of the national budget.





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Publication Info

Destura, Raul V, Hilton Y Lam, Rohani C Navarro, Jaifred Christian F Lopez, Reneepearl Kim P Sales, Ma Ida Faye A Gomez, Angelo Dela Tonga, Gianne Eduard Ulanday, et al. (2021). Assessment of the Biosafety and Biosecurity Landscape in the Philippines and the Development of the National Biorisk Management Framework. Applied biosafety : journal of the American Biological Safety Association, 26(4). pp. 232–244. 10.1089/apb.20.0070 Retrieved from

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Jaifred (Jim) Lopez


Jaifred Christian Lopez, or Jim, is a doctoral student at the Department of Population Health Sciences, Duke University. He is a clinically trained physician (licensed in the Philippines) with a master’s in public management. He now focuses on health systems research.

He is currently involved in projects related to health systems innovation within the US Veterans Health Administration, and in the global health context (through ongoing collaborations with colleagues based in the Philippines and other countries). He has been published in local and international journals and has been featured in print and mass media in the Philippines and internationally.

At Duke, he is a scholar of the Biosciences Collaborative for Research Engagement (BioCoRE) program, which aims to promote diversity and inclusion in biomedical and health sciences research. He is a founding member of the board of trustees of the Philippine Society of Public Health Physicians, Inc., founding member of the Young Physician Leaders (YPL) Alumni Steering Committee, which gathers graduates of the InterAcademy Partnership's YPL Programme, and a founding trustee of Tambalista, Inc., which aims to advance nature-based products research in the Philippines through academe-industry partnerships.


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