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!

“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.”

The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation and the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development are inviting researchers to submit capsule proposals for the study entitled: “Development of Package for Mental Health Services”

The project Terms of References can be downloaded HERE.

The 2017 PhilHealth STUDIES (Strengthening the Thrust for Universal Health Care through Data, Information, and Knowledge Exchange Systems) is a research management collaboration between the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) and the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD). This initiative aims to provide funding for research projects focusing on the development of evidence-based policy recommendations on PhilHealth programs and services.

Who may apply

Filipinos with at least a Master’s Degree in a relevant field, have proven research competence/track record, and employed in universities/colleges, research agencies/institutes, hospitals, and other health related agencies are eligible to apply for the research grant.


We encourage interested parties to submit their capsule proposals via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and attach the following documents by September 7, 2018:

1. Letter of Intent addressed to:
The Executive Director
Philippine Council for Health Research and Development
Department of Science and Technology, Saliksik Bldg.
Gen. Santos Avenue
Bicutan, Taguig City, Metro Manila
2. Curriculum Vitae of Lead Researcher
3. Profile of Institution
4. Capsule Proposal Format

If you have queries, please contact Mr. Marc Enrico Hasta (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Ms. Grace Ann Cenon (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or call (02)837-75-34 to 37 loc. 206.

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.)

Nine out of the 37 researchers were awarded the “Most Ready to Publish Paper Award” during the 14th National Medical Writing Workshop and 7th Writeshop for Young Researchers on 6-7 August 2018 at the CAP John Hay Trade and Cultural Center, Baguio City.

Held in conjunction with the 12th Philippine National Health Research System Week, the award was given to participants whose research papers are deemed by the facilitators as well-written, organized, and have the greatest potential for publishing in peer reviewed journals.

Winners from this batch are as follows: Dr. Carl Froilan Leochico, Mr. Bienvinido Cabaro III, and Ms. Marian Caye Borreo of the University of the Philippines Manila (UPM), Dr. John Elmer Quilisadio of the Davao Regional Medical Center, Ms. Ma. Lynell Maniego of the Department of Science and Technology Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI), Mr. Roy Bueconsejo of the Philippine Heart Center, Mr. Amadeus Fernando Pagente of the Department of Health (DOH), Ms. Ma. Veronica Aranda of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Ms. Maria Ricci Gomez of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, in partnership with the Philippine Association of Medical Journal Editors (PAMJE) and Asia Pacific Association of Medical Journal Editors (APAME), conducts the biannual writing workshop to help young researchers in health sciences acquire practical knowledge and writing skills in developing scientific articles for publication. To date, 88 of the Council’s writeshop participants have published their works in scholarly peer-reviewed journals.