The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), through the initiative of its Institution Development Division (IDD) and Human Resource Unit, conducted an “Orientation on Ethics in Research” for Council staff on 1 February 2015.
In his message delivered by Finance and Administrative Division (FAD) Chief Mr. Edgar Ortiz, PCHRD Executive Director Jaime Montoya stated that the orientation is specifically designed for PCHRD staff to be aware of the laws and regulations affecting the conduct of health research in the country, to understand the process of ethics review in health-related researches, and to be familiar with the accreditation policies for Ethics Review Committees. (ERCs) This was accomplished through the expertise of Dr. Marita Reyes, National Ethics Committee (NEC) Chair.
“As people working in an Agency that coordinates and monitors research activities in the country, it is deemed necessary that we are aware of the ethical principles and standards adhering by these researches,” Dr. Montoya stated.
Dr. Reyes gave an overview on the national regulations in health research practice including the role of research institutions in ensuring research ethics.
“Good research practice ensures scientific validity and ethical soundness of research, promotes human rights and dignity, animal welfare, and environmental integrity, and assures research social value,” she disclosed.
Dr. Reyes also discussed the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB) mandate, registration, and accreditation program. PHREB, the national policy making body in health research ethics, develops guidelines for the ethical conduct of human health research and for the establishment and management of ethics review committees (ERCs).
Among the PHREB criteria for accreditation of ERCs are the following: (1) functionality of the structure and composition, (2) adherence to international, national, and institutional guidelines and policies, (3) adequacy of the Standard Operating Procedures and consistency in its implementation, (4) completeness of the review process, (5) adequacy of the after-review procedures, (6) adequacy of administrative support, and (7) efficiency of recording and archiving system.
Lastly, she introduced the ethical review process of ERCs which includes (1) submitting of required documents, (2) reviewing of submitted documents, (3) deciding appropriate actions on the study based on the review, and (4) communicating with proponents.
Dr. Reyes noted that an ERC should be independent, multi-disciplinary, multi-sectoral, and pluralistic. “Its (ERC’s) primary function is to protect the research participant,” she also emphasized.
For more information about PHREB, please visit www.ethics.healthresearch.ph.