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.

Student and Professional Podium Presentation…A Showcase of knowledge and expertise in Health Research and Innovation Jose Mari Louis G. Alforque, RN, MN, DScN The Central Visayas Consortium for Health Research and Development (CVCHRD) in collaboration with the Cebu Normal University celebrated its 3rd Annual Central Visayas Health Research and Innovation Conference with the theme Research and Innovation: Linking Theory and Practice on May 06 – 09, 2018 at Cebu Normal University.

Day 2 of the event is the Health Forum on Biotechnology held at the Tandang Sora Hall, Cebu Normal University. Simultaneously, Student Podium Presentation and Professional Podium Presentation is held at the EMMA Hall and the CN Amphitheater, respectively. The podium presentations provide the venue for active researchers to present their research output. Research conference presentations allow a researcher to present the data and significant findings of his study, showing the many stages of development (e.g. preliminary findings, recently collected data, or data that is pending to be published).

The American Psychological Association (2018) during the Psychological Science Agenda in November 2007 advocated that one of the many advantages from research conference presentations is the avenue to advocate for the science or body of knowledge that one is representing. A representation of the field of interest allows researches from other disciplines, policy-makers, and the public will be made aware of the innovations in research emerged and being generated in a particular subfield. Further, the APA pointed out that as scientist and as researchers, we have the intellectual and social responsibility to share the our research findings with people outside the discipline we are representing for the purpose of increasing the visibility and availability of the research conducted and be able to reinforce knowledge and learning among interested individuals. The pool of researches for presentation is a mixture of quantitative and qualitative research studies. The winners of the podium presentation (both student and professional) will be awarded on May 09, 2018.

The researches presented in the Student Podium Presentation are the following: 1.)Religiousity and Level of Peer Pressure and its influence on the Engagement of Pre-Marital Sex among College Students of a University in Cebu City for the Academic Year 2017-2018; 2.) Level of Awareness on Electronic Cigarette Smoking among Young Adults in Tisa, Labangon, Cebu City; 3.) Anticoagulant Activity of Sea Hare (DolabelleAuricularia) Methanol Egg Extract in Icr Mice (Musmusculus); 4.) Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behavior of the residents of Barangay Calindagan, Dumaguete City Toward Tuberculosis and Tuberculosis Testing; 5.) Test for Antibacterial Property of Chromolaenaodorata (Hagonoy) Leaf Extract; 6.) Toxicity Evaluation of Cebu Cinnamon (CinnamomumCebuenseKosterm.) Leaf Extracts using Brine Shrimp Lethality Assay (Bsla) and Earthwrom Assay; 7.) Growth Inhibition and Relative Shortening of Telomere Length

Last April 16-19, 2018, the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB) together with the Forum for Ethical Review Committees in Asia and the Western Pacific (FERCAP) conducted a joint accreditation visit at Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH).

After having been Level 2 Accredited in 2017, the BRTTH endeavors to achieve Level 3 Accreditation this 2018 – the highest award given among Research Ethics Committees (RECs) in the country. Concurrently BRTTH aims to be SIDCER* Recognized by FERCAP – a project of the World Health Organization (WHO) Special Training and Research Programme in Tropical Diseases for Asia and the Western Pacific.

The purpose of the visit was to assist the BRTTH Institutional Review Board (IRB) in reviewing its practices and appraise its performance against the PHREB standards for accreditation and SIDCER standards for recognition Joint PHREB-SIDCER Team was composed by: DR. CRISTINA E. TORRES – Survey Coordinator, DR. MILAGROS M. VIACRUCIS – Lead Surveyor, DR. SONIA E. BONGALA – Surveyor, Prof. TERESITA DE GUZMAN - Surveyor, Part of the accreditation-survey was also to provide training for aspiring Research Ethics Committees to become PHREB accredited. Trainees came from three participating agencies: Cardinal Santos Medical Center, Department of Health Regional Office V, Bicol Medical Center.

After completion of recommendations, the awarding for the PHREB Level III Accreditation will be at Baguio City in August 2018 during the PNHRS Week Celebration, while for the FERCAP-SIDCER Recognition, it will be held at Taiwan by November 2018.

Written by BRTTH-IRB

The Philippine National Health Research System Capacity Building Committee (PNHRS CBC) organized a regional consultative meeting with the Chairs of the Capacity Building Committee of the Regional Health Research and Development Consortia (RHRDCs), and RHRDC Regional Project Staff last 19-20 April 2018 in Xenia Hotel, Clark, Pampanga.

During the meeting, Dr. Rommel Salazar, HRDCR IV-A CBC Chair shared his Committee’s Strategic and Operational Plan for 2018. As the Luzon Cluster Representative at PNHRS CBC, he was also tasked to present the PNHRS CBC proposed strategies. Also present during the meeting were Ms. Carina Rebulanan, Chief of Institution Development Division of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) who presented the meeting objectives and Mr. Paul De Leon, Chief of Research Development and Management Division- PCHRD who presented the PNHRS National Unified Health Research Agenda. Dr. Vicente Belizario, Jr., Chair of PNHRS CBC discussed the overview of the PNHRS CBC. He also served as the moderator during the first day of meeting while Dr. Elvira Dayrit, Consultant of PNHRS CBC consolidated the PNHRS Strategic Plan.

The gathering provided a platform for exchange of information and open discussion which ensure alignment and harmonization of plans on capacity building for health research system.

Baguio City – Preparation of the different working committees for the upcoming 12th Philippine National Health Research System Week Celebration was discussed during a Technical Working Group meeting spearheaded by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) and the Cordillera Regional Health Research and Development Consortium (CRHRDC) on May 21, 2018 at the Board Room, University of the Philippines, Baguio City.

The committee also considered the issues of choice of programs for the opening and closing ceremonies of the national event. Finalization of the conference logo and operational budget were also on the meeting agenda. Furthermore, the theme “Research and Innovation for Equity in Health” was finalized.

Region CAR will host this national big event on 6-9 August 2018. This will take place at the CAP Building, Camp John Hay, Baguio City.

Clinched fist pose of FDA Director General Nela Charade Puno and D-PUNCH members as a sign of determination to
ensure consumers’ safety

To ensure consumer protection against hazardous health products, representatives of government agencies and other stakeholders led by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) officials convened during the Consumer Protection Advocacy Forum held recently at Hotel Estrella in Tacloban City.

The advocacy forum primarily focused on FDA Licensing and Registration Requirements for Local Chief Executives and partner agencies in Eastern Visayas to avoid trade malpractice in the region.

During the day’s event, different mechanisms in monitoring of unregistered health products in the market were likewise strengthened.

FDA officials and other stakeholders enlighten participants on their
programs and concerns during the open forum held right after the program.

In her message, FDA Director General Nela Charade Puno urged other stakeholders to help them in the enforcement of law to ensure public health and safety.

“Tulungan nyo po kami at magtulungan po tayo, we need to make sure na nasusunod ang batas”, Puno said. “I am looking forward for more collaboration to insure public health and public safety”, she added.

Puno also acknowledged the presence of D-Punch (D-PUNCH "Destroy Products Unfit for the Consumption of Humans") and PNP officials to help them explain the consequences in cases where there are violations of law.

“Importante din po na nandito ang partners naming D-Punch at yung mga PNP officers natin, para after maexplain natin everything, it is important to know the consequences kapag hindi nasunod ang batas”, she further stressed.

FDA officials led by FDA Director General, Nela Charade Puno (center, in black and green attire) and other
stakeholders recite 
the Pledge of Commitment during the Consumer Protection Advocacy Forum held at
Hotel Estrella in Tacloban City.

As a gesture of support to the programs of the FDA, a Pledge of Commitment led by FDA officials was likewise recited by the activity’s participants during said forum.

Two Biotechnology research studies were presented at the Health Forum on Biotechnology on May 7, 2018 at Tandang Sora Hall, Cebu Normal University in Cebu City.The conduct of the health forum is in celebration of the 3rd Annual Central Visayas Health Research and Innovation Conference with the theme, “Research and Innovations: Linking Theory and Practice.”

The Biotech studies explored on the Detection of the HIV Drug Resistance through Molecular Diagnostics and on the Population Database profiling through the use of DNA Sequencing.

Dr. Edsel Maurice T. Salvaǹa said, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) mutates so fast which needs Genotype Testing to detect its drug resistance. There are 100 subtypes of HIV, and the treatment is only limited, this need “urgent research” to determine the treatment for all subtypes. “HIV intervention is not yet done, we need to pay attention and be vigilant,” Dr. Salvaǹa advised.

To expand the Philippine Population Database the National Science Research Institute – DNA Analysis Laboratory (NSRI-DAL) of the University of the Philippines Diliman utilized the DNA Fragment Analysis Capillary Sequencing and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) for Forensic Applications. Mr. Tyrll Adolf B. Itong, Science Research Specialists II of NSRI-DAL said,the use of the NGS technology can best establish genetic markers. He recommended to study additional groups for genetic variations.

The four-day conference was spearheaded by the Central Visayas Consortium for Health, Research and Development (CVCHRD) in partnership with Cebu Normal University.