In its aim to promote healthy lifestyle, the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) spearheads the conduct of #HatawAgham4 on 19 July 2018 at the World Trade Center Manila.
Hataw Agham, part of the National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) celebration, includes various physical activities and series of health talks. For this year’s event, Zumba demonstration will be led by Ms. Natalie Uy-Chan of Zumba Fitness Philippines while, Dr. Lorna Espeso of Adamson University will lecture on healthy lifestyle for people with desk jobs.
Through #HatawAgham4, the Council hopes to encourage individuals to work toward goals in achieving healthy lifestyle. Interested participants may register at https://bit.ly/2ty47ZY . For more info about the National Science and Technology Week, please visit pchrd.dost.gov.ph.
The country celebrates the approval of the Philippine Mental Health Law or Republic Act 11036 after it was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on 21 June 2018.
Before the law, the Philippines belonged to the one quarter of countries in the world without legislation that supports mental health. The enactment of the Mental Health Act serves as a monumental step toward providing the necessary mental health services the population needs.
The law enables barangays to provide mental health services through the scaling up of community and grassroots mental health programs, integration of psychiatric, psychosocial, and neurological services in government hospitals, and promotion of mental health education in school and workplace.
According to a joint study in 2014 by the University of the Philippines Manila National Institute–Institute of Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Health, Foundation for Advancement of Clinical Epidemiology and Philippine Psychiatric Association, which analyzed data from 2,562 patients with mental illness, schizophrenia is the top brain disorder affecting mentally ill Filipinos. RA 11036 will help address the needs of the growing population that only has 700 psychiatrists and 1000 psychiatric nurses serving it by securing the rights and welfare of mental health professionals.
Among other provisions in the law, schools and workplaces will be required to create programs and services on mental health education, while institutions and businesses will be given training on mental health to address the concerns of both students and employees.
While such enactment is a huge step in making mental health care more affordable and accessible, the law also highlighted the importance of research and development to gather evidences required to formulate and develop culturally-relevant national mental health program including indigenous knowledge and practices related to mental health. In conducting mental health research, the law emphasized that researchers must ensure that informed consent were sought and approved by an accredited ethics committee. Research on mental health is listed as a priority under the National Unified Health Research Agenda (NUHRA) 2017 – 2022.
Through this law, PCHRD hopes that research mental health could be further improved and supported, and the development of better policies, services, and programs will be enacted, paving the way to healthier and happier Filipino nation.
Pasay City, METRO MANILA- It’s that time of the year again for the science community!
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will hold the National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) on 17-21 July 2018 at the World Trade Center (WTC).
With the theme “Science for the People: Innovation for Collective Prosperity,” the Science Department will once again highlight the contribution of science, technology, and innovation (STI) to national development.
This year, DOST will feature its breakthrough programs, technologies, and services into three clusters namely STI at Home, STI at Workplace, and STI at School. A marketplace area will also be placed to feature the products of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) assisted by DOST regional offices.
The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) leads the Home cluster where they will feature their newly-supported health technologies such as the Feasibility Analysis of Syndromic Surveillance using Spatio-Temporal Epidemiological Modeler (FASSSTER), a user-friendly tool for disease modeling and syndromic surveillance visualization of dengue, typhoid fever, and measles; and Agapay, a 3D-printed wearable robot which provides post-stroke and injured patients with a cost-efficient and high performance rehabilitation system.
The Health Research Council will also showcase their Omic Technologies for Health, a program which aims to utilize ‘Omic’ technology platforms in crafting local technologies which can be developed into personalized medicines, diagnostics, and therapeutics; and ReliefVent, a compact, affordable, safe, and effective intensive care unit (ICU) ventilator that can be used for both children and adults.
The Biotek-M, a local and cheaper confirmatory test for dengue diagnosis which is a gold medal awardee of the 46th International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva, and Tuklas Lunas, a program which aims to come up with efficacious, safe, and accessible standardized drug candidates are also included.
The Home Cluster will also house the technologies and products of the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI), the Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI), the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI), the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), the Science and Technology Information Institute (STII), the DOST regional offices, and partners such as the Design Center of the Philippines (DCP) and the De La Salle University (DLSU).
“Our cluster will showcase the applications of STI in various parts of the home: living room, bed room, kitchen, dining room, comfort room, study room, and garden. We want to emphasize how science can help our people starting from the corners of their home,” Dr. Jaime Montoya, PCHRD Executive Director, explained.
Aside from the annual exhibit, people can also expect weeklong interactive games, raffle, massage, nutrition counseling, cooking demonstration, and photobooth. For more information, visit www.nstw.dost.gov.ph!
Science and technology sector celebrates another success with the President’s signing of the “Balik Scientist Act” on 15 June 2018. The Republic Act No. 11035 strengthens the implementation of the Balik Scientist Program (BSP) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) by providing incentives to foreign-based Filipino scientists who will go back to the country to transfer knowledge and share expertise.
Established in 1975, the BSP aims to promote information exchange and accelerate the flow of new technology into the country through strengthening the scientific and technological human resource of the academe, public, and private institutions.
The law mandates DOST to invite Filipino scientists across the globe to return and serve as experts and consultants in improving the science and technology agenda of the country. The Department approves and awards short-term, medium-term, and long-term commitment of returning scientist.
Among the benefits and incentives a ‘Balik Scientist’ can enjoy include exemption from licensing or permitting requirements from the Professional Regulation Commission, accident and medical insurance coverage, reimbursement of baggage expenses related to scientific projects, and exemption from renouncing their oath of allegiance to the country where they took oath, among others.
Meanwhile, scientists who commit to long-term engagement program receive special relocation benefits, tax and duty exemption to importation of one motor vehicle, personal and household effects, and professional equipment, admission support to the preferred schools of their minor children, assistance in securing job opportunities for their spouses, and monthly housing or accommodation allowance.
The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), one of the implementing agencies of BSP, focuses on evaluating applicants for the health R&D sector. Since 2007, PCHRD was able to engage with 82 Balik Scientist specializing in various fields such as biochemistry, neuroscience, microbiology, and others.
Through this law, DOST and PCHRD hopes that more scientist will be encouraged to return and help aid the country in improving our S&T agenda through research and innovation.
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) celebrated its 60th founding anniversary with the theme “S&T Journey: 60 years and beyond” at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Pasay City on 13 June 2018.
In his opening remarks, PCHRD Director, Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, thanked DOST’s partners and stakeholders for their contributions to the success of the Department in the past 60 years. Dr. Montoya emphasized in his speech, “The past six decades paved the way in the major developments in the S& T industry of the country. Through research and development, science, technology, and innovation become a driving force for economic globalization.”
One of the highlights of the event was the opening of exhibit which showcased the Department’s accomplishments and triumphs each decade. It also contained key research priorities of DOST for the past years.
DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña expressed his gratitude to everyone especially to his predecessor in committing to the mandate of DOST to provide central direction, leadership, and coordination of scientific and technological efforts and ensure that the results therefrom are geared and utilized in areas of maximum economic and social benefits for the people.
Furthermore, Sec. De la Peña awarded the former heads of DOST with a plaque of appreciation for their contributions to the success of the Department. Before commencing to the second part of the program, the Secretary offered a toast and set the S&T initiatives and future directions of DOST.
Competition of performance per cluster was the highlight of the second part of the program. Each cluster was given specific eras as theme of their presentation. The Los Baños cluster won the first prize with the 90’s theme while the Bicutan cluster got the second prize with a modern dance themed performance.
More awards and prizes were given to winners of the cluster presentation towards the end of the program. Prizes were also raffled for everyone who attended. In the end, Sec. De la Peña thanked all who have been part of what DOST has become and for what it will become in the future.