Twelve notable outcomes from projects supported by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) were featured at AghamBayan Technology and Innovations Festival on 20 June 2018 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Pasay City.

In one of the parallel sessions, products of PCHRD and University of the Philippines Manila (UPM) research collaboration were presented. Proponents were given the chance to explain and showcase their developed technologies and products to the industry sector.  Among the featured outputs were Newborn Screening, Newborn Hearing Screening, Sambong Tablet, Lab in a Mug, Hemoxyther, Cardio Pharmacogenomics, Lagundi, LeptoVax, Ornathex, RxBox, Rare Diseases Act, and Sin Tax Law.

Dr. Carmencita Padilla, UPM Chancellor, explained that newborn screening has been considered as one of the most successful public health intervention programs in the Philippines with the enactment of Republic Act 9288 or the Newborn Screening Act of 2004. In 1996, Dr. Padilla led a group to research on newborn screening which results were used as basis in the creation of the law. The Newborn screening aims to early detect genetic, metabolic, infectious conditions in newborn babies in order to provide the necessary timely interventions. To date, more than 10 million babies and was able to save 120 000 babies from mental retardation or death.

Other laudable policies presented were the Republic Act No. 9709 or the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention Act of 2009, Republic Act No. 10747 or the Rare Disease Act and the Republic Act No. 10351 or Sin Tax Law. The Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention Act provides for mandatory hearing tests for all Filipino newborns, the Rare Disease Act that guarantees improved access of patients diagnosed with rare diseases to comprehensive medical care, and the Sin Tax Law helps reduce smoking prevalence in the country and augment government funds for healthcare financing and delivery.

Herbal medicines developed by Dr. Nelia P. Cortes-Maramba from the Institute of Herbal Medicine were also featured. Sambong Tablet, an herbal medicine produced from Sambong leaf, is used to treat edema and urinary tract infections or stone. The cost of the tablet is 50 percent less compared with the use of medical and surgical alternatives. Lagundi capsule, on the other hand, can treat cough and asthma.

In addition, herbal medicines called Hemoxyther and Ornathex were introduced. According to developer of Hemoxyther, Dr. Erna Arollado of the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, the supplement is used to treat anemia without the usual side effects of commercially available iron supplements. Ornathex, on the other hand, is an anti-pain and anti-inflammatory herbal medicine derived from a plant indigenous in the Philippines called Calamus ornatus locally known as rattan.

The team of Dr. Nina G. Gloriani from the Department of Medical Microbiology presented their innovation called LeptoVax, a leptospirosis vaccine. The vaccine targets the disease-causing bacteria that are appropriate to the Philippine setting, with potential application to neighboring Southeast Asian countries.

An affordable rapid test kit for accurate detection of dengue within an hour, the Biotek-M Dengue Aqua Kit was also showcased.  Part of the “Lab-in-a-Mug Project,” Dr. Raul Destura of the National Institutes of Health declared that the invention won a gold medal at the 46th International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva, Switzerland.

Another featured innovation is the technology developed by Dr. Portia Fernandez-Marcelo of the National Telehealth Center and Dr. Luis Sison from the Electrical and Engineering Deparment of UP Diliman called RxBox. The RxBox is a telemedicine device capable of capturing medical signals through built-in medical sensors, storing data in an electronic medical record, and transmitting health information via internet to a clinical specialist in the Philippine General Hospital for expert advice.

Also highlighted was the Pharmacogenetics, a research program headed by Dr. Rody Sy and Dr. Eva Cutiongco – de la Paz which focused on the study of inherited genetic differences in drug metabolic pathways that affect individual responses to drugs. The UP-PGH Cardiovascular Genetics Research Group screen known biomarkers related to cardiovascular diseases and response to treatment in the country.

Encouraging more scientist and researchers to innovate on health, PCHRD Executive Director Dr. Jaime Montoya said, “We need your help in producing more research and creating more innovation for our country.”

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the University of the Philippines (UP) showcased the technology and innovation outputs of their longstanding partnership in the AghamBayan: Science, Technology and Innovation Festival on 20 June 2018 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Pasay City. Researchers, policymakers, government agencies, industry leaders and technology adapters, entrepreneurs and start-ups, and investors participated the event.

Aghambayan was the very first event wherein DOST and UP celebrated the collective ingenuity of their scientists and researchers.  The event aims to advance public awareness on the contribution of science and technology in improving the quality of the everyday lives of ordinary Filipinos. Some of the technologies featured at the event are ready for commercialization while others are for pilot testing.

As the DOST Sec. De la Peña puts it, “Everyone here are trail blazers in the field of science and technology. Through research, development, and innovation, we are able to achieve a lot and deliver services in improving the S&T agenda of the country.” Among the notable technologies DOST were able to support includes “SARAI” a project in agriculture, Diwata-1 and LiDAR system in disaster risk management, and Biotek-M Dengue Aqua Kit in health.

One of the highlights of the festival was the panel discussion conducted with industry leaders and government sector.

In the panel with the industry sector, Semiconductors and Electronics Industries in the Philippines (SEIPI) President, Dan Lachica, Director of Small-Medium Enterprise and Exports, Roberto Amores, and Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Philex Mining Corp, Atty. Michael Toledo discussed the important link between research institutions and industries.  One of the noteworthy issues tackled was the slow commercialization of technologies.

In the panel discussion with the government sector, representatives from DOST, Department of Health, National Economic and Development Authority, and Industry Development and Trade Policy of the Department of Trade and Industry answered the issues cited by the industry, researchers, and innovators. Collectively, they promised to improve government services to encourage scientists and researchers to produce more technology through incentives and better implementation of projects.

In their closing remarks, both UP Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Cynthia Bautista and DOST Undersecretary Dr. Rowena Guevara emphasized the importance of networking and collaboration in advancing the S&T agenda of the country.

“Personal Learning Networks (PLN) provide more opportunities for research collaborations, a wider platform for policy and advocacy campaign, and an excellent venue to mentor and develop advocacy networks,” emphasized Dr. Jaifred Christian Lopez, Technical Consultant for the Alliance for Improving Health Outcomes (AIHO) in one of the six tracks during the 4th Healthcare and Social Media Summit held on 9 June 2018 in Davao City.

As described by Dr. Iris Thiele Isip-Tan, Director of the Medical Informatics Unit of the University of the Philippines-Manila, PLN is a network of trustworthy connections wherein an individual can gather, collect, communicate, create, and share knowledge and experience. During the event, Dr. Isip-Tan encouraged everyone to start PLNs by creating a Twitter account and start following notable people in their field of interest. She stressed that for PLN to be effective, one should be able to follow at least 200 persons as this number creates a steady stream of information and interaction. Dr. Isip-Tan said, “Participation in Twitter discussions is one of the keys for success. By participating in Tweetchats, which are live, moderated, and focused Twitter conversations, individuals end up connecting with other professionals of the same interests.”

In the context of global health, using social media such as Twitter in establishing PLNs helps bridge the distance of researchers, enables easier collaboration, information exchange, and partnerships. “Social media platforms such as Twitter allows health professionals discuss topics in health regardless of the distance,” said Dr. Lopez. As discussed by Dr. Lopez, social media features such as hashtags help collate data, opinions, and statements on health issues, provide users an in-depth look and give them more opportunities for research collaborations.

Live-tweeting, as an effective technique in developing PLNs, was discussed by Dr. Guinevere Dy-Agra of the Philippine College of Chest Physicians. She explained that live tweeting involves real-time posting of happenings, quotes, and information during events which allow event participants to share what they are currently learning to other people, help them focus better on the session, allow to retain information better, and strengthen participants’ network. “During a conference, collective discussion and social media coverage of a particular topic discussed helps immerse people who are not present there, and gives them personal takes and allows them to read first-hand experiences about the event,” stressed Dr. Agra.

With the support from the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, this year’s summit was organized in partnership with the #HealthXPh and AIHO. The summit is an annual gathering of healthcare professionals, patients, and health advocates to discuss the healthcare and social media and its impact to the country’s health system.

For more info on upcoming events and conferences by the Council, please visit and

JASTIP-Net aims to strengthen the Japan-ASEAN research collaboration network, widen and deepen the coverage of JASTIP within the ASEAN region, and seek new collaborations for developing capacities, fostering partnerships and growing new endeavors into mature research projects.

Interested Applicants must choose one out of four research themes listed below:

  • Partnership, Networking and Integrated Approach
  1. Operational linkages among academic sector, government agencies, and private sectors in the ASEAN Member States and Japan.
  2. Study a strategy/policy to apply STI collaboration at a country/regional level to social implementation for achieving SDGs in the ASEAN region.
  • Energy and Environment Joint Laboratory
  1. Implementation Study of Renewable Energy in Southeast Asia
  • Bioresources and Biodiversity Joint Laboratory
  1. Studies on biodiversity in the ASEAN region contributing to the improvement of identification, collection and/or information.
  2. Sustainable utilization of bioresources for biorefinery, bioremediation, wood construction, food or medicine.
  3. Plant improvement for agroforestry systems and carbon sequestration contributing to the mitigation of and/or adaptation to climate change.
  • Disaster Prevention Joint Laboratory
  1. Innovative ideas on disaster prevention, mitigation and recovery technologies and policies peculiar to each ASEAN Member State.
  2. How to cope with trans-boundary disasters in the ASEAN region such as tsunami, flood, drought and haze.
  3. Understanding and quantitative evaluating disaster risks peculiar to the ASEAN Member States.

Application forms should be emailed directly to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and CC to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Proposed budget should not exceed JPY 1 million (USD 9,200.00)

Deadline of applications for the first submission is on 21 July 2018, and the second submission is on 10 August 2018, 17:00 (Japanese Standard Time).

For complete application details, please visit

The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, in partnership with the health advocacy social media group #HealthXPh, held the 4
th Healthcare and Social Media Summit on 9 June 2018 at Grand Regal Hotel, Davao City.

With the theme “Social Media and Health Professions Education: Shaping the Future through Research and Innovation,” the event highlighted the impact of social media in work, education, and research particularly in developing partnerships, encouraging collaboration, and building networks.

The summit focused on six tracks along with healthcare social media research presentations. The program tracks are as follows: use of social media by teachers in health professions education, use of social media by students, establishing personal learning networks on Twitter for medical educators and healthcare professionals, building presence for advocacies on social media, developing policies for social media, and social media for patients and advocates.

In his message read by Research Information Communication and Utilization Division Chief, Ms. Merlita Opeña, PCHRD Executive Director, Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, emphasized the importance of social media in the current generation as a tool in everyday life. He said, “Social media is used not only to share ideas and show interests, but also to build relationship and form communities.”

Closing the summit was an unconference, a session which gives the chance to more than 150 summit participants to sit in a panel of five persons at a time to discuss healthcare and social topics and offer their opinions and answers to questions submitted through Twitter.

The Healthcare and Social Media Summit, a yearly event supported by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, brings together health professionals and researchers in social media to discuss the current trends and the impact of social media platforms in research and health innovation.

For more information on other upcoming events and conferences, please visit and