Making the Philippines the World's 'Tropical Herbal Medicine Capital'

Article excerpt

Byline: Dr. Jaime T. Galvez Tan

Herbal medicine advocates composed of scientists, researchers, agriculturists, business people, consumers and health professionals assembled last Aug. 14 at the UP-PGH Social Hall and forged the National Research and Action Agenda for Medicinal Plants Promotion and Utilization.

Let me first share with you the National Action Agenda for the immediate and medium term period:

1. Unity. Attend the public hearing on the Administrative Order of the Department of Health (DoH) and Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) that will guide the standards and regulations of herbal medicines. This will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 20, at the BFAD Audio Visual Room from 8 a.m. to 12 noon.

2. Continuity. Continue the National Colloquium on Medicinal Plants and focus on three major topics, to wit: (a) Enlightenment on the Wildlife Act of 2001 and the Indigenous Peoples Act and how these two legislations affect medicinal plant research and production. This will be care of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR); (b) Orientation on the Intellectual Property Rights especially on patents and trademarks on medicinal and natural processes and products. This will be care of the Intellectual Property Rights Office of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI); and (c) Briefing on the different regulations that govern medicinal plants registration in ASEAN countries, European Union and the USA. This will be care of the Center for International Trade, Exposition and Mission (CITEM) of the DTI.

3. Campaign and Linkages. Strengthen the campaign for the promotion and use of herbal medicine and natural products through the use of various media and information technology. Enhance the linkages among the academe and research community, herbal medicine industry and the government agencies concerned with medicinal plants.

4. Advocacy. Advocate with the DoH to reaffirm its commitment of support to the promotion and use of medicinal plants. Provide representation of the Chamber of Herbal Industries of the Philippines Inc. …