The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (PCHRD-DOST) is hosting the 14th Forum for Ethical Review Committees in the Asian and Western Pacific Region (FERCAP) Annual International Conference and the 1st Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB) National Conference on 24-25 November 2014 at the Taal Vista Hotel in Tagaytay City.

With the theme, “Embedding Ethics in National Health Research Systems,” the conference will highlight initiatives towards institutionalization of ethics within national systems and harmonization of good practices across the Asia Pacific region.

Topics to be featured include;

Models of Health Research Systems

  • Conflict of Interest in Health Research
  • Empowerment of Research Participants
  • Effective Governance in Health Research
  • Indicators of Ethical Health Research Systems
  • Challenge and Issues in Health Research Systems
  • Roles of Community Representatives in Research Ethics

Registration for the conference is Php5,000.00. For inquiries, please visit or contact Mr. Jek Alcaraz at (02)837-7537 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


The fifth batch of MD-PhD in Molecular Medicine Program scholars signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), through the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), at the Alvior Hall of the University of the Philippines Manila (UPM) last September 5, 2014.

The MD-PhD in Molecular Medicine Scholarship Program is a joint initiative of UPM and the DOST that aims to train aspiring physician-scientists for careers in basic and applied biomedical research towards the advancement of health from individual to global levels. It is the first and pioneering degree program in the Philippines that combines the MD and PhD courses in one.

Known for its very steep admission requirements, only applicants who have finished their undergraduate degrees with honors (Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Summa Cum Laude) and have achieved National Medical Admission Test (NMAT) rating of 95 and higher are conferred with the scholarship.

This year, nine new scholars qualified into the program, two of whom garnered an NMAT rating of 100.


Visit the website at

To protect indigenous peoples’ claim to their cultural heritage, the University of the Philippines Manila (UPM) developed the Philippine Traditional Knowledge Digital Library on Health (TKDL-Health), a digital library of the country’s traditional knowledge and practices on health, healing and diseases.


In an email interview, Dr. Isidro C. Sia, a faculty of the University of the Philippines Manila –the Philippine TKDL-Health program, discussed that the TKDL-Health website helps prevent private entities from laying exclusive claim to the therapeutic practices or medicinal products of indigenous groups by creating proof of ownership for the traditional knowledge.


Dr. Sia cited India’s successful use of their own TKDL website to revoke a US patent on turmeric as an example on how TKDL can be used as evidence for the ownership of the traditional knowledge.


The TKDL-Health ( is a database of information on traditional knowledge on health, illness, and healing gathered from the documentary studies done among indigenous peoples and other cultural communities. To date, there is information on 13,900 medicinal plants.


Through the program, researchers and community members can work together as partners to catalogue the folk traditions in health, and in the process, advocate for the protection of the cultural legacy of the Filipinos.


TKDL-Health is a project supported by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (PCHRD-DOST), the Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care (PITAHC), and the Institute of Herbal Medicine (IHM) of the UPM – National Institutes of Health (UPM-NIH).


The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development – Department of Science and Technology (PCHRD-DOST) and Department of Health (DOH) will hold an eHealth Forum on 26 July 2014 at the SMXConvention Center, PasayCity during the 2014 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW).

With its theme, “The Health Information Exchange, Connecting People and Information for Better Health Care,” the forum tackles the local and global perspectives on health information exchange, and recognizes eHealth initiatives to track the country’s target on maternal and child health with reference to the Millennium Development Goals as well as improvement in community access to PhilHealth benefits.

The Philippine Health Information Exchange (PHIE) is an enabling system that links health-related information, databases and registries with all health services, users, and providers.  PHIE provides access to health information by health practitioners and policymakers in making informed decisions.

The forum also features the first Digital Poster Exhibit on eHealth researches and initiatives in the Philippines.

Secretary Mario G. Montejo (DOST), Secretary Enrique T. Ona (DOH), and Undersecretary Teodoro Herbosa (DOH) together with 500 participants from different sectors are expected to grace the forum. For more details, please contact Ms. Michelle Estrera at (02) 837-7534.

With the vision of advancing together as one community, delegates from the ASEAN member states convened on June 26 – 27, 2014 for the 1st  ASEAN – Network for Drugs, Diagnostics, Vaccines, and Traditional Medicine Innovation (ASEAN-NDI) Community of Practice on Traditional Medicine Meeting at Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati City, Philippines.

Presenting the ASEAN-NDI initiatives, Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, the ASEAN-NDI Secretariat Coordinator, emphasized the need to develop collaborative innovations on traditional medicine in addressing the escalating cost and poor access to modern medicine, which were prevalent in some ASEAN countries.

"There is also a constraint on the lack of research on varieties of traditional medicine [though] the government gives a lot of support for traditional medicine," added by Dr. Habibah A. Wahab, the Director General of Malaysian Institute of Pharmaceuticals and Nutraceuticals.

Supporting collaborative initiatives on traditional medicine, ASEAN-NDI representatives affirmed their interests on potential areas for collaborations, particularly on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), capacity-building for researchers and students, harmonization of policies and regulations, and research and development (R&D) projects.

Nine (9) delegates from the ASEAN Member States (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines,  Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam), and some participants from the Department of Health, and Department of Science and Technology graced this remarkable meeting.