17th Annual Congress of the Natural Products Society of the Philippines Held in Bacolod City
Last Dec. 3-4, 2012, Bacolod City successfully hosted the 17th Annual Convention of the Natural Products Society of the Philippines (NPSP), with the theme “Tapping Nature’s Potential: Methods in Natural Products’ Research.” The national convention held at Planta Hotel was attended by around 120 participants from all over the country from academe, government, and industry. The Keynote Address was delivered by Engr. Rowen R. Gelonga, Director of DOST Region 6, who enthusiastically shared his vision for the development of the natural products industry in the region through active government support and partnership with the private sector. The plenary was graced by Prof. Dr. Antonio C. Laurena (UPLB Institute of Plant Breeding) with his talk on “Natural Products in Agricultural Crops for Health and Wellness”, DOST Balik-Scientist Dr. Anne P. Villalobos with her lecture on “Indigenous Plants for Food and Medicine: Challenges and Strategies”, and Prof. Dr. Fortunato B. Sevilla III (UST-RCNAS) who discussed about “Chemometrics for Natural Products Research.” In addition to the plenary lectures, an industry-oriented talk was given by guest lecturer Mr. Dietmar Speckmaier of the AFOS Foundation entitled “Implementing a Food Safety Management System for Natural Products - Which Quality and Technical Standards are Relevant for Trade in Natural Products?”
As a regular part of NPSP conventions, young researchers were invited to present their work under the 22nd Alfredo C. Santos Lectures on Natural Products. This year’s invited lectures were delivered by Dennis D. Raga (Ateneo de Manila University), Joy B. Banayo (UPLB), Dave Eldon B. Olano (UP Visayas), and Philip Rico P. Mejia (UP Diliman). Additionally, a total of 40 researchers presented posters during 17th NPSP convention through an oral poster pitching session whereby participants were given only a few minutes to present the highlights of their work. This is the biggest number of poster presentors in an NPSP convention to date which clearly reflected on the growing interest on natural products research in the country.
As a pre-conference activity, a seminar-workshop on Research Methodologies was held in the afternoon of Dec. 2 by NPSP members and friends in support of the natural products community of Region 6. The resource persons included NPSP President Dr. Lourdes Cardeñas of UP Los Baños - Institute of Biological Sciences; Dr. Alice Aguinaldo, Dr. Maribel Nonato, Dr. Mafel Ysrael, and Dr. Mario Tan of UST - College of Science; Dr. Irene Villaseñor and Dr. Evangeline Amor UP Diliman Institute of Chemistry; Dr. Edgardo Tulin of PRCRTC - Visayas State University; Dr. Aretha Ann Liwag, MD., WVHRD Consortium; and Mr. Philip Cruz of Herbanext Laboratories. Some 60 participants attended the pre-conference mainly from Negros and Panay. The seminar-workshop which generated a lot of local praises and appreciation was geared to provide participants a fresh perspective on natural products based on industry-responsive research and sound scientific methods.
Overall, the 17th NPSP Conference was a big success. The event was sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology Region 6, Herbanext Laboratories, Guill-Bern Corporation, and UNILAB. Plans are already under way for the 18th NPSP Conference which will be held in Manila in 2013. For further information, please log on to www.natprod.org.