The members and representatives of the Research Utilization Committees (RUC) in the 17 regions, gathered together to learn strategies on designing effective communication collaterals and website management, and reported their accomplishments for year 2017 to 2018.

Held last 6 August 2018 during the 12th Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Week held in Baguio City, the pre-conference session was attended by 75 RUC members and representatives.

Highlight of the morning session are discussions that revolved on topic, “Communication Campaign: Designing Effective Collaterals,” which aims to raise awareness on the strategies in designing effective communication materials that can be incorporated in the communication plan of the RUCs. Three notable speakers were invited to discuss strategies on designing effective collaterals in print and digital media and how to improve audience engagement using online marketing.

Mr. Stanley Coloma, a Creative Evangelist from NasansiStan Design Co., discussed the importance of incorporating the institution’s branding in the collateral. He emphasized that institutions should be clear about their brand, brand identity, and branding guidelines. He also discussed the foundations of effective layout and standard tools in layout.

Ms. Monika Ortega, a User Experience Designer and Marketing Strategist at ClinkIT Solutions, shared some tips in removing friction in the way of users to fully utilize and use collaterals of research results. She explained the need for branding, the merits of knowing what message to deliver, the importance of knowing and understanding audience, and value of being knowledgeable about the institution’s information dissemination platforms.

The discussion of Mr. Bernard San Juan III, General Manager of TrueLogic Online Solutions Inc., highlighted the importance of having a great content in the communication materials. According to Mr. San Juan, a great content tells a story which can be achieved by making the content accessible, informative, media rich, answers questions, makes the audience better, allows people to interact, and evokes trust.

In the afternoon, the participants were trained on using the open source content management system, Joomla, which is used in managing their respective consortium website. Best part of the afternoon session was the reporting of the accomplishments of the RUCs wherein achievements for the published papers, conducted research conferences, and other activities were presented.

For communication collaterals to be effective, there are important principles one has to follow. Ms. Monika Ortega of Inventive Media, a top web developer and digital marketing strategist, shared five important lessons during the 12th Philippine National Health Research System Week Preconference session on 6 August 2018 in Baguio City.

1. Know who you are. In any communication strategy, you have to determine your institution’s brand DNA. The kind of tone, purpose, and language in your marketing collaterals should be consistent with the brand of your institution. Embed the brand such as logo or color of your institution in your collaterals. There should be consistency in your materials across all dissemination platforms, Facebook, Twitter, and website.

2. Know what you want. Before designing the material answer first the question, “What do you want your audience do after reading the information?” Remember, a human’s attention span is too short, only eight seconds. In a digital environment wherein the audience is bombarded with too much information given this limited time, your design must stand out to capture their attention. Message should be focused and clear to make the first impression lead to your desired action.

3. Understand your users. The more you know about the needs and concerns of your audience, the more you are guided with the kind of message you will convey in your materials. Always put yourself in the shoes of your audience. You can engage more people into your campaign when they can relate to you.

4. Understand your platform. Different platform requires different content. Social media platform requires different specifications for video, visual materials, among others. They also have different analytics to measure reach, engagement, or audience involvement. Accessibility of these social media platform on different device should always be kept in mind. Moreover, not all content should be shared in all your social media platform as each has its own kind of audience.

5. Design is everyone’s job. Not everyone is a designer but everyone should embrace design thinking. This means, as the user of the collaterals we can improve the quality of materials we will produce. We can always pre-test the collaterals and make refinements.

“The single most important health problem in the world is not a disease but the problem of inequity within nations and among nations,” this was the striking message of National Scientist Dr. Ernesto Domingo during his keynote speech at Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Week in Baguio City on 6-9 August 2018.

As a Ramon Magsaysay Foundation awardee, Dr. Domingo shared his experiences and the bigger role of being a scientist researcher in achieving universal healthcare and health equity. He said, “the conduct of research is certainly metamorphosing from the simple pleasure of knowing to the more heroic imperative of ameliorating.”

For Dr. Domingo, dedicated and passionate scientist-researchers are key to achieving universal health care. Based from his first hand experiences, he shared three qualities of a good researcher.

First, a good researcher has genuine interest to find answers. According to Dr. Domingo, although curiosity is a primordial engine of research, the researchers’ desire and conduct of work is also a factor in the generating beneficial research. He emphasized that a researcher intention should go beyond the material merits and pleasure instead should root from the pure desire and limitless energy to produce research results for the betterment of mankind.

Second, behind a good researcher is a good mentor. Dr. Domingo revealed that his mentor is Dr. Kenneth Warren, an American scientist, physician, educator, and public health advocate. Dr. Domingo narrated how he grew as a scientist under Dr. Warren’s mentorship. As per Dr. Domingo, being a mentor doesn’t mean occasionally giving advice but endowing trust and confidence to the mentee. Dr. Domingo said, “A good nurturing environment or mentor is key in supporting, advocating, and facilitating the journey or career of a researcher.”

Finally, researcher’s readiness to do hard work is the final key into becoming a successful researcher. Dr. Domingo stressed that productivity is not a product of brilliance but the ability of a researcher to absorb tremendous work. Dr. Domingo explained that doing research is a lifetime commitment because it does not stop in getting master and doctoral degrees. Instead, conducting research requires a lot of patience and determination to produce significant results that could lead to technological breakthroughs and other discoveries.

In closing, Dr. Domingo reiterated the important role of researchers in addressing issues in equity in health. Dr. Domingo’s experience serves as a testament that the quality of research you do depends on your character as a researcher. “The hardship you will encounter is nothing compared to the impact you will make into truly achieving equity in health. We must work together with genuine interest and passion to produce research for everyone.”

Pursuant to the Republic Act 10028, otherwise known as the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009, we celebrate Breastfeeding Awareness Month during August every year to raise awareness and further promote breastfeeding in the country.

Breastfeeding is one of the safest and cost-effective ways to protect babies, young children, and their mothers against morbidity and mortality. As we celebrate the National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, here are some facts you should know about breastfeeding:

  • Infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months.

For the first six months of life, newborns must only receive breastmilk without any additional food and water.  Giving water at this early age endangers babies to diarrhea and malnutrition. Children should be breastfed up to two years and beyond.

  • Breastfeeding improves infant and maternal health.

Breastmilk contains nutrients and antibodies which help improve infant’s sensory and cognitive development, and lowers the risk of chronic conditions such as obesity, cholesterol, allergies, diabetes, asthma, cancer, high blood pressure, and pneumonia.

Breastfeeding not only creates a special bond between mother and child but also helps mothers to reduce the risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

  • HIV transmission through breastfeeding can be reduced with drug treatment.

HIV positive women can pass on the virus during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding. Infected women produce lower levels of protective antibody that fights diarrhea and other respiratory infections. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) advised infected women or their infant to undergo antiretroviral treatment throughout the breastfeeding period until the infant reach 12 months old to reduce the risk of transmitting HIV.

  • Complementary foods are advisable in addition to breastmilk.

Complementary feeding is the transition from exclusive breastfeeding to family foods. Appropriate complementary foods should be added to the child’s diet if the breastmilk is no longer enough to meet the child’s nutritional requirements which covers the period from six months and above. Foods must be prepared safely with right amount and texture according to child’s age.

According to the World Health Organization, in addition to breastmilk, “Infants should start receiving complementary foods at 6 months, initially 2-3 times a day between 6-8 months, increasing to 3-4 times daily between 9-11 months and 12-24 months with additional nutritious snacks offered 1-2 times per day, as desired.”

  • Infant formula is not recommended as replacement for breast milk.

The Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of Executive Order No. 51 in the country, otherwise known as ‘Milk Code’ does not recommend infant or formula milk as replacement food for infants. Formula milk is harder to digest than breastmilk. It can be easily contaminated due to unpurified water, unsterilized containers and utensils, or even due to existing bacteria in the formula.  Although breastmilk has been replicated, the nutrients it contains are not enough for child’s health needs.

  • Breastfeeding, working moms are supported by law.

The Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act requires all health and non-health facilities and establishments to allocate space for lactation stations. The Act gives breastfeeding mothers additional break in addition to the regular time-off for meals to express their breast milk.

The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) supports the programs and advocacies on proper breastfeeding.  

In fact, the National Unified Health Research Agenda (NUHRA), the consolidation of health research priorities of the country, identifies the importance of breast feeding research under the Research to enhance and extend healthy lives research priority area.

The Council supported a research program entitled, “Influences of Maternal Dietary Intake and Nutritional Status on the Microbiological and Chemical Compositions of Breast Milk from Selected Lactating Filipino Women at 0 to 4 Months Post-Partum” which aimed to establish the factors affecting the composition, physicochemical characteristics, and the microbiology of breast milk obtained from Filipino lactating women.

With the existing policies and laws, the Council looks forward to supporting more researches and programs that will benefit mothers and babies.

For more information about NUHRA and the priority areas, download the NUHRA now!

15th National Medical Writing Workshop and 8th Writeshop for Young Researchers
Zamboanga City, Philippines
29-30 January 2019

Organized by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) and the 
Philippine Association of Medical Journal Editors (PAMJE), co-organized by Zamboanga Consortium for Health Research and Development (ZCHRD)
Endorsed by the Asia Pacific Association of Medical Journal Editors (APAME)


Application deadline extended: October 22, 2018
REGISTRATION IS FREE (limited slots only)

The Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) and Zamboanga Consortium for Health Research and Development (ZCHRD), in cooperation with Philippine Association of Medical Journal Editors (PAMJE) and Asia Pacific Association of Medical Journal Editors (APAME) is organizing the 15th National Medical Writing Workshop and 8th Writeshop for Young Researchers on 29-30 January 2019 in Zamboanga City. The workshop aims to help young investigators in health and health social sciences acquire practical knowledge and skills in preparing a scientific article for publication in a scholarly peer-reviewed journal. Successful applicants will be granted free workshop registration, accommodation for participants and meals during the workshop, and assigned to a mentor-facilitator who will guide them in preparing their articles for a brief presentation.

Requirements for participants

The workshop is designed for a maximum of forty (40) researchers in health sciences and health social sciences, aged 35 years old and below, who have a research project completed not more than 2 years ago and have drafted a manuscript for submission to a scholarly journal. The selected draft manuscripts will be reviewed and revised during the workshop, based on the lectures and exercises, under the guidance of the faculty and mentor – facilitators. All participants are expected to present a 7-minute power point summary of their revised manuscripts on the second day of the workshop, and agree to submit the article to an appropriate scholarly peer-reviewed journal within three (3) months after the workshop.


Applicants should e-mail the following requirements to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. on or before 15 October, 2018

  1. Fill out application form here
    2. Conforme slip
    3. Abstracts 
    4. Draft Journal Manuscripts
    5. Instructions to authors (This is a free document downloadable from the website of your prospective journal.)

Please use this subject format in your email: Application_15th Wrtieshop_(Surname)
Please save your documents in this format: Conforme Slip_(Surname), Abstract_(Surname), Manuscript_(Surname), ITA_(Surname)

The results of the selection of participants for the Workshop will be communicated on November 10, 2018.

If there are any questions about the Workshop, please contact Ms. Catherine Joy C. Dimailig (email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or tel no: (02) 837-7534.)