The country’s national health research repository, HERDIN or Health Research and Development Information Network database, was presented during the 2017 Philippine Librarians Association Inc. National Congress held on 21-24 November 2017 at the SMX Convention Center Bacolod, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.

In the parallel session entitled, “Accessibility of Health Information through Health Research,” Ms. Kristine Dominique Zamora, Science Research Specialist I of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), described the features of HERDIN and explained how students, researchers, and the public can access more than 4,000 full-text articles on health research and 50,000 citations and bibliographic health research information.

Ms. Zamora also emphasized HERDIN activities such as trainings, tours, and workshops, which aims to encourage and capacitate institutions to contribute their institution’s health research outputs in the HERDIN.

For more information about HERDIN, please visit

Health research and public health ethics representatives from institutions from ten Southeast Asian nations met to discuss and propose an agreement for better cooperation on health research and ethics at Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati City last 10-11 October.

Representatives of health research institutions and ethics committees from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations gathered in Makati City to draft an agreement on an ASEAN Network on Health Research and Public Health Ethics.

The ASEAN representatives were participants of the two-day seminar workshop on “Building Capacities in Research and Public Health Ethics in the ASEAN” held at the Dusit Thani Hotel on 10-11 October 2017.

The meeting aimed to raise awareness among participants on regional concerns on research and ethics, while also strengthening regional cooperation by forming an ASEAN network for health research and public health ethics.

Highlights of the discussions on regional concerns included Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology Institute of Biotechnology’s DNA Identification Center Deputy Director , Dr. Thi Thanh Huyen Tran’s, presentation on the burden of illness and access to healthcare in Vietnam.

Dr. Abu Bakar Abdul Majeed, Rector of Universiti Teknologi MARA Selangor discussed the use of traditional and complementary medicine (TCM) in Malaysia, focusing on the regulation of TCMs through the Traditional and Complementary Medicine Act of 2013.

Lao People’s Democratic Republic’s representative, Dr. Sengchanh Kounnavong, Head of the Health Research Division of the National Institute of Public Health spoke on the ethical issues on public health surveillance.

Dr. Voo Teck Chuan, Assistant Professor from the Centre of Biomedical Ethics, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine of the National University of Singapore discussed the ethical issues in health systems research.

The other remaining representatives, Dr. Bunsoth Mao, Vice Dean for the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Puthisastra, Cambodia; Dr. Leonardo de Castro, Chair of the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB); Dr. Chit Su Tinn, Researcher at the  Defense Services Medical Research Center, Myanmar; Dr. Mas Rina Wati Haji Abdul Hamid, Senior Lecturer of PAPRSB Institute of Health Sciences, Universiti Brunei Darussalam; and Bugi Ratno Budiarto from the  Research Center for Biotechnology, Indonesian  Institute of Science and Technology presented reports on the current state of health research and public health ethics in their respective countries.

Dr. Custer Deocaris, Research Management Division Chief of the Commission on Higher Education facilitated a “world café”, which is a structured conversation where participants periodically switched tables to answer questions like needs, resources, objectives, activities, and mechanisms on creating the ASEAN network on ethics.

On the second day of the meeting, Dr. Beverly Ho, the Department of Health’s representative for PHREB, presented the draft agreement on how to establish the ASEAN network for health research and public ethics. The participants gave their comments and revised the agreement which they were to bring home to their respective countries for presentation and approval of their respective ASEAN Subcomittee on Biotechnology focal points and head of their institution.

MANILA – The 8th batch of MD-PhD Molecular Medicine Program scholars signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) on 28 September 2017 at University of the Philippines Medical Alumni Society Hall, Ermita, Manila.

The scholars who are expected to complete the prescribed eight years of study are Arnold Dominic Barzaga, Mojisola Christine Olotu, Maria Rosewynn Anne Salvan, and Simaco Sison from University of the Philippines Manila (UPM), Leslie Faye Cando, Glenmarie Angelica Perias, and Lia Angela Reyes from University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD), Jeremy Ceriales from University of the Philippines Visayas – Miagao Campus (UPV Miagao), and Abraham Sianoya from University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).

The MD-PhD Molecular Medicine Program aims to train aspiring physician-scientists for careers dedicated for the advancement of health through biomedical research.

In his message, PCHRD Executive Director Jaime Montoya expressed his full support to the program as it ensures best knowledge in merging two worlds – the research and clinical field. “This program opens the door for life sciences in the country because we are producing well-versed people not only in the basic sciences but also in research and clinical field,” Dr. Montoya emphasized.

Furthermore, Dr. Salvador Eugenio Caoili of UPM in his presentation, discussedscholars’ responsibilities and what are expected from them in pursuing the program. He stressed that it is the prime duty of every scholar and every mentor to be committed of their priorities in order to deliver significant roles for the community. Dr. Montoya and Dr. Caoili both reminded the scholars to seek guidance and be diligent enough throughout their course to prove their worth as scholars of Filipino people.

“There’s no question in spending for as long as we see the bright future of our young scientists,” Dr. Montoya said.

This program is a joint initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), through PCHRD, and UPM, through the College of Medicine.

Article by: Lemuel Basierto

QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA - Five new MS Molecular Medicine Program scholars signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) on 29 September 2017 at St. Luke’s Medical College of Medicine (SLCM), Quezon City.

Among the new scholars are Anna Krizzia Cruz, Clarissa Joy Garcia, Raphaella Lao, Katherine Pearl Sarabia, and Aren Maridin Busog, all from St. Luke’s Medical College of Medicine.

MS Molecular Medicine Program is a joint initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), through PCHRD, and SLCM which aims to produce proficient laboratory researchers capable of pioneering innovative health researches as basis for future health policies.

In her message, Dr. Susan Pelea Nagtalon, SLCM President and Dean, expressed her support to the scholars and reminded them to become committed throughout the whole course in order to achieve their dreams for themselves and for the country.

“We realize that it is not an easy course but with the dedication and with the motivation of these students [scholars], they can actually make it and be a leader in their chosen field of specialty,” Dr. Nagtalon emphasized.

The program aims to provide the scholars a firm foundation on biomedical sciences and relevant emerging technologies to develop highly trained manpower base for Molecular Medicine in the country.

“We are here to support you [scholars] for whatever way we can. We are looking forward to improving research in our country and you are welcome to be part of the institution,” Dr. Mark Pierre Dimamay, SLMC MS Molecular Medicine Program Director, added.

Started in 2008, 12 MS Molecular Medicine scholars have graduated under the program.

Article by: Lemuel Basierto

QUEZON CITY, Metro Manila- The various agencies of the Philippine government will hold the 13th National Biotechnology Week (NBW) celebration on 20-24 November 2017 at the Fisher Mall EXPO HALL, Fourth Floor, Quezon Ave., cor. Roosevelt Ave., Quezon City.

With the theme and tagline “Bioteknolohiya para sa Kalikasan, Kalusugan, Kagandahan, Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran: Lamang ang Masa at Magsasaka sa Limang “K” ng Bioteknolohiya,” this year’s celebration supports President Rodrigo Duterte’s commitment to provide available and affordable food for the people.

Headed by the Department of Agriculture (DA), NBW 2017 will also recognize the valuable role of modern biotechnology and its products in achieving national development.

As part of the celebration, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will also highlight the contribution of biotechnology to science, technology, and innovation.

Among the activities of the Science Department include health forum, career talk, biotechnology forum, agriculture forum, aquatic forum, film-showing, and science journalism workshop. The DOST activities will be held at Brentwood Suites.

Aside from DA and DOST, other participating agencies include the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and Commission on Higher Education (CHED).