The first ever online celebration of the 14th Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Week with the theme “Health R&D in the New Normal: Moving Towards Universal Health Care”, hosted by the Zamboanga Consortium for Health Research and Development and Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) was participated in by 16 Regional Consortia all over the country on August 9-13, 2021     


Maximizing the benefits of virtual conferences, Satellite Sessions were conducted for 4 days prior to the main event. The South Luzon Cluster concentrated on the theme “Financing for National Health Security and Pandemic Preparedness” on August 3, 2021. The Region 1 HRDC, together with the Cagayan Valley VHRDC, Central Luzon HRDC, and CAR HRDC belonged to the North Luzon Cluster Satellite Session on August 4, 2021 that focused on the thematic area “Strengthening the National Health Research System’s Capacity for Response and Research”. On August 5, 2021 the Visayas Cluster was tasked to roll out topics focusing on the learnings achieved during the COVID-19 with the theme “Enhancing Regional Preparedness for Public Health Emergencies”. The last satellite session on August 6, 2021 which is anchored with the theme “Ensuring Good Governance and Accountability in the New Normal” was handled by Mindanao Cluster.


The week-long celebration started with Pre-Conference from August 9-11, 2021 which highlighted: (1) Oral Research Paper Presentation (professional and student category) wherein Ms. Ma. Cristina G. Cariño from the National Economic Development Authority Regional Office 1, represented the R1HRDC and won First Place for their research entitled “Assessment of Regional and Local Development Outcomes, and Health and Health-Related Indicators for DRR Cycle in Region 1” beating other finalists from the professional category; (2) Session on “Social Innovation in Health Research”; (3) Session on “Research in Global Health Emergencies: The Nuffield Council Moral Compass and Good Participatory Practice”; (4) The “3-minute Pitch to Policy Makers Competition” which focused on the presentation of successfully completed health research studies with the aim of exercising and cultivating researchers’ presentation, and research communication skills as a way of sharing evidence to stakeholders and policymakers. One of the finalists is Ms. Sonia Habawel Carreon from the DOH Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Center Dagupan with her study entitled “AFTERCARE: A Key to Successful Recovery and Productivity”. (5) the “Practical Training for REC Members and Staff” by PHREB; and (6) Visual Abstract Poster Competition (professional and student category).


The Main Conference lasted for 2 days on August 12-13, 2021. It revolved on different topics such as: Plenary 1 “Changing Landscape of Universal Health Care: Paradigm Shifts in Health R and D”; Parallel Session 1 “Implications of the New Normal on Health Technology Assessment”; Parallel Session 2 “Enhancing the Country’s Bio-Preparedness for COVID-19 and other Emerging Infectious Diseases”; Parallel Session 3 “Harnessing International Collaborations and Engagement of Stakeholders to Maximize Health Research Impact”; and Plenary 2: “LGU COVID-19 Response: Sharing of Collaborative Practices in Disease Prevention and Control”. The conference hosts also launched and presented the Mental Health Research Manual, Basic Research Methods (BRM) Modules, and the Fellowship in Epidemiology Program Development and Pilot Implementation.


During the closing ceremonies, accredited REC’s were awarded with their Certificates of Accreditation by PHREB. Likewise, winners from the different competitions were announced and presented with certificates and cash prizes.


For other information about the 14th PNHRS Week Celebration, please visit


Attendees hoped that the PNHRS Week Celebration next year will be done face-to-face.


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