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Philippine National
DNA Symposium

Forensic DNA Database:

Gaining a Better Understanding

of its Implications to Society


This hybrid event was held at the

PNP Forensic Group National headquarters in Quezon City, where international speakers shared their expertise on the science & policy of DNA Forensics. This helped attendees expand their knowledge of DNA databases and their potential to transform the criminal justice system.



The Philippines, an archipelagic country of over 110 million people, is a member state of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). However, unlike many of its neighbors, it does not yet have a fully functional national DNA database or a legislation that would facilitate its establishment.

The Philippine Supreme Court recognized the admissibility of DNA evidence in 2007, which led to the development of competent crime labs conducting DNA casework to aid prosecution of perpetrators. To its credit the Philippine National Police has been able establish a DNA database pilot project with > 60,000 profiles. However, the country still lacks legislation governing the collection, handling, and storage of DNA evidence in a national database despite its proven success in reducing crime.

A dedicated forensic DNA database is needed in the Philippines to effectively solve crimes and deter future offenses. Having such a database not only reduces crime but also lowers the government's overall spending on law enforcement & public safety.


Over the last few years, several lawmakers have proposed building a DNA database to improve the country’s criminal justice system. In July 2020, Senator Ronald dela Rosa filed Senate Bill No. 1577 to help identify and prosecute criminals with this technology.

In 2022, a House of Representatives panel moved to consolidate bills proposing the creation of a forensic DNA database to aid law enforcement efforts. The leading ones are House Bill No. 94 and 540, authored by Rep. Robert Ace Barbers and Rep. Dan Fernandez, respectively.

Both the bills seek to establish a database to quickly identify perpetrators of a crime through samples found on a crime scene. However, concerns among certain civil society groups about the database’s potential impact on individual rights and privacy continues to be a major stumbling block.


With this symposium we provided attendees with a better understanding of the importance of a DNA database and its many advantages to society. It featured expert speakers who discussed different aspects of a model policy to establish and run an effective database system based on learnings from around the world, while keeping legal, ethical, and social considerations in mind.

This event was an excellent opportunity for attendees to expand their knowledge of DNA databases, appreciate their multiple benefits, and get their doubts and concerns around its implementation addressed. Participants also got a chance to interact with experts and exchange ideas on related topics.

AGENDA symposium
08:00 – 08:30
08:30 - 08:35
National Anthem Invocation
08:35 - 09:00
Welcome Remarks
PCOL Roderick S Pausal (Deputy Director for Administration, FG)
09:00 - 09:05
Presentation of Current Status of PNP DNA Database
PCOL Reynaldo T Calaoa (Chief, DNA Laboratory Division)
09:10 - 09:40
DNA Evidence in the Administration of Justice: Judge’s Experience
Judge Evangeline M. Francisco (Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court Branch 270)
09:45 – 10:15
DNA Success Case: From the DNA Analysts Perspective
PLTCOL Angeline Amangan
10:20 –10:50
Addressing concerns surrounding the use of DNA databases by law enforcement
Dr. Bruce Budowle (Visiting Professor, Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Helsinki / Former FBI Forensic DNA Expert)
10:50 –11:20
What Philippines can learn from the global experience with DNA databases
Mr. Tim Schellberg (President, GTH Consulting & General Manager GTH DNA)
11:20 –11:50
Testimony of a Survivor
Ms. Ashley Spence (Victim Advocate & Founder, DNA Justice Project)
11:50 –12:15
Open Forum
12:15 –12:25
Presentation of Plaque of Appreciation
12:25 –12:35
Closing Remarks
PBGEN Constancio T Chinayog, Jr (Director, FG)
12:35 –12:40
Photo Session Lunch
PART 2 - DNA Lecture (For PNP FG and NBI Forensic DNA Analysts)
14:00 - 16:00
Tackling Challenges of DNA Profiling in Mass Disaster Investigations”
Dr. Bruce Budowle (Visiting Professor, Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Helsinki / Former FBI Forensic DNA Expert)
16:00 - 16:15
Open Forum
16:15 – 16:25
Mr. Saurabh Marya (Regional Director, Asia Pacific, GTH DNA)
16:25 – 16:35
PBGEN Constancio T Chinayog, Jr (Director, FG)
16:35 – 16:45
Presentation of Plaque of Appreciation
16:45 – 16:55
Photo Session
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