Dr. Lilian Garcia, DA-NFRDI executive director; and Dr. Marie Christine Obusan – President, BIOTA Philippines signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on January 19, 2023.

The Department of Agriculture-National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (DA-NFRDI) and the Biology Teachers Association (BIOTA) Philippines signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for research collaborations and exchange of expertise on January 19, 2023 at the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) in Quezon City.

Signing the MoU were Dr. Lilian Garcia, DA-NFRDI executive director; and Dr. Marie Christine Obusan – President, BIOTA Philippines.

Specific areas of cooperation include on-the-job training; research collaborations; experts exchange through advisorship or as resource speakers for training, workshop, or webinar; information exchange; and other activities that are beneficial for both organizations.

“We express our joy and appreciation with this newly-formed partnership. One of NFRDI’s objectives is to strengthen R&D collaboration and networking and effectively partner with them to implement priority research in the fisheries sector. NFRDI will be more relevant to the industry if we have direct collaborations with concerned agencies,” said Dir. Garcia.

Dr. Obusan was likewise appreciative mentioning that most the services that BIOTA Philippines are providing are similar to that of NFRDI. This will be reinforced through the partnership. “We are one of the biggest and oldest organizations with about 800 members. We will be glad if NFRDI can also collaborate with us,” said Dr. Obusan.

Established in 1966, BIOTA Philippines is a non-profit organization promoting biology including education and research. It is one of the largest professional organizations with active members all over the Philippines involved in enhancing biology education.

Also present was Dr. Ian Kendrich Fontanilla, director of UPD-Institute of Biology, who delivered a welcome message.

Witnessing the signing were Dr. Jessica Rey, asst. prof, UPD-Institute of Biology, UPD; Dr. Dino Tordesillas, public relations officer, BIOTA; Dr. Theresa Mutia, chief of NFRDI- Freshwater Fisheries Research and Development Center; and other NFRDI staff, Rita dela Cruz, Norvida Gatdula, Joey Caser, and Victor Cortez of the NFRDI-Training Division. ### (Norvida Gatdula)