Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) in association with Cordillera Regional Health Research and Development Consortium organized the celebration of the 12th Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Week held on August 6-9, 2018 at the CAP John Hay Trade and Cultural Center, Baguio City. This year’s theme “Research and Innovation for Equity in Health” aimed at improving the health status, productivity, and quality of life of Filipinos. This is by linked the whole health research community of the country who are committed to develop ways to answer the growing health needs of our people in line with the Philippine health research agenda (NUHRA 2017-2022). 


Satellite Events, August 6-7, 2018 – Satellite events such as meetings, networking, workshops, fora, discussions, consultations, updates on the latest news, developments and policies of the core committees of the PNHRS was attended by the primary stakeholders of health research such as medical practitioners, academe staffs, students, indigenous peoples, policy makers and other groups. The topics tackled were: Updates on Ethics in Research, Understanding the Data Privacy Act in the Context of Health Research, and Designing Effective Communication Campaigns among other. There was a welcome dinner on August 7 whereby VIPs and guests delivered their messages/ testimonies. There were also entertainment and audio visual presentations presented for the participants.


Main Conference, August 8-9, 2018 – A Ramon Magsaysay Awardee 2013, National Scientist of the Philippines - Dr. Ernesto O. Domingo, was the keynote speaker for this year’s PNHRS Week Celebration. On his speech, he delivered an inspiring message and shared his journey being an academician, a doctor, and a researcher. One of his major studies conducted is his research on schistosomiasis. During the Tongtongan 1 (In Benguet, "Tongtongan," is an indigenous way of amicably settling conflicts. A consultation process) were discussed the experiences, issues and challenges that were encountered concerning this year’s theme. The Tongtongan 2 is the deliberation on how the country is ready for research: strengthening research programs of higher education’s institutions (HEIs) and research development institutions (RDIs), their practices and rewards. Parallel sessions were conducted to exchange information concerning three topics namely: (1) From Research to Public Health Programs: Forum on Sexual, Reproductive Health, HIV, Teenage Pregnancy and Mental Health; (2) Governance and Equity in Health; and (3) Assessment of the TK Documentation Program based on WIPO Recommendations.


During the fellowship night on the 8th of August, the expedition of PCHRD through the years was showcased. Participants were serenaded by live acoustic band of the University of the Cordilleras Percussion and Orchestra. The parade of regions and unity dance for all the parties which represented the union of all the 16 regions towards achieving a common goal - equity in health for the country was also highlighted.


One of the focus of this celebration is the showcase of the output of each consortia through a health research contest: oral and poster presentation for both student and professional category.


This PNHRS week celebrates the continuing effort of all of its stakeholders in improving the health status of our country. While there may be competition, it is more of setting away differences and uniting the whole country in resolving health concerns – equity in health for ALL.


 For more details please see 12th PNHRS Program Book or R1HRDC Facebook Page or visit PNHRS Website


The primary concern of R1HRDC Ethics Research Committee is to promote the conduct of ethical health research. Sufficient and sustainable training programs in research ethics for researchers and stakeholders from the region are important to prepare them not just on the basic principle of ethical research but also on how to conduct ethics review procedures and to establish  their own ERC among others.


Thus, on July 25-26, 2018, the committee through the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB), conducted the Basic Research Ethics Training (BRET) at Metro Vigan Fiesta Garden Hotel, Bantay, Ilocos Sur. This is helped the participants to understand the basic principles in research ethics, more specifically, to make them understand the moral dimensions of research. The activity was also done to inform, update and guide participants regarding the different guidelines and concepts for research ethics, and to motivate research stakeholders to do and advocate quality ethical research. 

Read more: Training and Understanding Research Ethics


Human involvement in the conduct of research creates ethical responsibility as people need to be protected especially if they are the subject of the study. It is imperative therefore that researches involving human participants be reviewed and approved by an accredited Ethics Review Committee (ERC) prior to the conduct of the study. As such, it is essential for institutions to have a self-regulating committee that will look after ethical issues and considerations among research protocols. The committee shall ensure that all researches conducted with human subjects are studied and approved in order to ensure that ethical codes, guidelines, and standards are followed. For the past years, the resident physicians of Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center (ITRMC) have produced excellent research studies that won awards in their respective subspecialty societies, and it is their desire that these types of work be published. Prior to the publication, the publishing company requires that these researches be evaluated by an accredited ERC. However, establishing an ERC accredited by the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB) takes time.


Read more: ITRMC Enters MOA with MMMH&MC for the Ethical Review of Research Protocols

Other young consortium in the country look up to R1HRDC as a developed consortium and some makes R1HRDC as their path of benchmarking activities. While it is overwhelming and a pride to the consortium, the Management Committee never cease to plan for activities that will develop the capacity of the organization. Last July 4, 2018 the Western Visayas Health Research and Development Consortium, Ilo-ilo City, headed by Dr. Alice Joan Ferrer welcomed the R1HRDC for an educational tour.

 Overall Chairperson Dr. Maria Lourdes K. Otayza, spearheaded the tour together with other key persons of R1HRDC namely: Dr. Jose B. Orosa III (R&D Chair), Dr. Unity H. Cortez (CBC Chair), Dr. Hilarion Maramba Jr. (ERC Chair), Dr. Mercita Queddeng (RUC Chair), Ms. Lucila Roja and Ms. Wilma Santos (PCHRD Representatives), Ms. Maingelline Vivit (MMSU-TLDC Representative), Ms Ana Gay Ranga (R1HRDC Secretariat) and Ms Maria Virginia Ulit (R&D Secretary). The group learned about the framework of the scholarship program that they are implementing. This immersion activity opened a door to observe the culture of Western Visayas as well as their experiences in training and mentoring amateur researcher to come up with a good quality health research proposals worthy of funding. Today, this scholarship program has already produced and completed eight (8) research projects and there are still on going.

 As such, the R1HRDC is very willing to make a policy/resolution to adopt also a scholarship program. This is to enhance the potential of the consortium to develop researchers for the region. This will provide an opportunity for our aspiring researchers to hone their skills and help them grow as professional researchers. While doing the entire process of research, the researcher will be provided with a mentor to properly monitor and guide the scholars.

 On top of it, it is hoped that upon the implementation of this scholarship program, funded research and research enthusiasts will grow in region 1.


 All smiles from the visiting team of Region 1 Health Research and Development Consortium (R1HRDC) together with the officials from Western Visayas Health Research and Development Consortium (WVHRDC). @Ilo-ilo City—July 4, 2018

Membership expansion is important and critical to the success of every organization for it is a sign of growth and maturity. The Region 1 Health Research and Development Consortium (R1HRDC) and Regional Ethics Monitoring Board 1 (REMB-1) simultaneously visited institutions in Pangasinan on May 22, 2018 to promote their services in the field of health research.


Through the years, R1HRDC have been a partner to many academes and health institutions in the region and it is continuously striving to reach every research enthusiast. The team is composed of Dr Leo B. Solis, Ms Ana Gay Ranga of R1HRDC and Ms Lucila Roja from PCHRD who visited institutions of Drug Treat and Rehabilitation Center in Dagupan City and Philippine College of Science and Technology in Calasiao.


Meanwhile, the visiting team of the recently established REMB-1 is composed of Ms Anita Criste, Mr Ariel Bacani and Ms Liezel Biag who visited Virgen Milagrosa University Foundation in San Carlos City and Lyceum Northwestern University in Dagupan City. This is to encourage the institutions to establish their Ethics Review Committee (ERC), check their activities, undergo for accreditation and to promote the activities of REMB-1 being the arm of the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB) in the region.


This institutional visit is one of the many ways and activities of both offices in order to strengthen ties between them and their stakeholders.



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