As the Philippines continue to fight malnutrition, functional foods are promoted as healthier alternatives to conventional foods but challenges on its regulations remain.

Functional food is generally defined as a product similar in appearance to conventional food, which contains health benefits to reduce chronic disorders beyond basic nutritional function. Consumption of this food helps in meeting the nutritional needs of individuals and eventually, helps in reducing malnutrition.  Some of these functional foods could be found in the Philippines such as brown rice, soybean spread, and chips and tea made from natural herbs containing vitamins, fiber and anti-oxidants.

In Japan, a regulatory system known as Foods for Specified Health Use (FOSHU) is responsible to approve effectiveness and safety of functional foods through scientific assessment. As displayed on the FOSHU website, FOSHU requires potential functional foods to prove effectiveness on human, use ‘nutritionally appropriate ingredients’, show guarantee of compatibility with product specifications by the time of consumption, establish quality control methods, and most importantly, confirm the absence of safety issues.

Approved functional foods in Japan could claim physiological effects on human body like controlling blood pressure or cholesterol. It could also declare reducing certain disease risk only after getting FOSHU’s approval of its claims.

Director Mario Capanzana of Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), however, raised the lack of regulations to support the production of functional foods in the Philippines, during the 62nd annual convention of the Philippine Association for the Advancement of Science (PHILAAS). 

The Department of Health-Food and Drugs Administration (DOH-FDA) classifies some functional foods as dietary supplement. Foods which serve as supplement must not have therapeutic claims. If functional foods will have specific regulations, food products with deceptive health claims will no longer be displayed on websites or even local markets, as Dr. Capanzana emphasized. 

Though there is still no clear policy on functional foods in the country, Dr. Capanzana affirmed that there is a huge demand for functional foods. Thus, the government and the people must develop specific regulations in producing more functional foods with valid and competitive health claims.


Student and Professional Category




  • The poster should include the following identifying information:
    • Name or title of research or project
    • Complete institution or author address
    • Telephone or contact numbers or email
  • It should give a brief description of the research in layman’s language
  • It should cite reasons why such project was developed or why the study was conducted; the study’s potential benefits in terms of its impact on health and quality of life, science or technology contributions or socio-economic benefits.
  • It should highlight a study or product the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the delivery of health and related services to Filipino communities
  • The poster may exhibit the highlight of the study in picture or colored presentation (not smaller than 16”x20”)
  • Graphical and other   appropriate presentations may also be included.

2.  FORM

  • One poster panel will be allowed per entry.
  • Poster size should be 2 feet width by 4 feet height. Use of illustration board or tarpaulin is recommended.


  • Participants are expected to bring their own adhesives and other mounting materials to ensure that the posters stay in place during the duration of the exhibit.


  • Entries must be submitted to                   DR. JAIME C. MONTOYA

                                                                                             Executive Director, PCHRD

                                                                                             3rd Flr DOST Main Bldg. Gen. Santos Ave.,

                                                                                              Bicutan Taguig City 1631 Philippines

  • Deadline of Entries                                          October 10, 2013, Abstract and 

                                                                                               Executive Summary (1-2 pages)

  • Setting Up of Exhibits                              October 29, 2013

                                                                                              Time:  6:00 PM

                                                                                              Venue:  Pan Pacific Hotel

                                                                                              M. Adriatico, cor. Gen Malvar  Street, Manila

  • Poster Exhibits                                             October 30, 2013

                                                                                              Time:  8:00 am-5:00 pm

  • Judging                                                        October 30, 2013, 10:00 AM

                                                                                              Participants are expected to be present

                                                                                              for interview of the  judges. Entries will

                                                                                              be judged according to the attached criteria.

  • Awarding                                                      October 30, 2013

                                                                                               Venue: Pan Pacific Hotel




I. TECHNICAL CRITERIA                                                                                                

S&T Impact on Health/Quality Of Life                                                                         45%                                                                                                                              

  • Provides innovative solution to improve efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency on health service delivery, financing, regulatory systems and governance through use of ICT
  • Citizen-centric with  demonstrable benefit to the target clients
  • Demonstrate  ability to transform citizens’ access to health care, expertise and information

Socio-Economic Benefits                                                                                                  35%

  • Results to savings, e.g.,   reduced healthcare cost, maximizes  resource allocation/utilization of health resources (lower cost)                                  
  • Encourages multi-sectoral collaboration, convergence of efforts                                       
  • If research, service or product has potential for commercialization or demonstrate  feasibility for upscale deployment                    

II. POSTER PRESENTATION                                                                                           20%

  • Message delivery (understandability, use of simple/layman’s                        


  • Color, design, and style (creativity)
  • Proponent’s salesmanship (product knowledge,                                                  

Communication skill)                                                                                                             _____





The latest cover of JAFES

The Journal of ASEAN Federation of Endocrine Societies (JAFES) and the ASEAN Journal of Psychiatry are the latest Philippine biomedical journals to be recognized and indexed by the Western Pacific Region Index Medicus (WPRIM).

Reporting on the latest on journal publishing in the country during the first Philippine Journal Meeting at the Hyatt Hotel Manila last August 28, 2013, Dr. Jose Florencio Lapeña, Jr., President of Philippine Association of Medical Journal Editors (PAMJE), said that indexing of both journals in WPRIM’s ensures Philippine research papers to contribute in spreading new knowledge and increase impact of research by making them accessible globally to the scientific community.

Journal articles from JAFES and the ASEAN Journal of Psychiatry are also available at, the Philippines’ health research portal.


The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Department of Health (DOH) are hosting the 1st Philippine eHealth Summit .

With the theme “eHealth– Exploiting ICT for Better Health,” the Summit aims to be a platform for exchange of information and expertise on what had been done and current initiatives on eHealth in the country. It will feature the Philippine eHealth Strategic  Framework  and  Plan to gather stakeholders’ inputs and buy-in.

As part of its program, undergraduate and graduate students as well as professionals are invited to join the Poster Exhibit Contest on researches and projects, which use ICT for Health.

For the Poster Exhibit Contest, submission of entries is still ongoing. For more details, please contact Ms. Magda P. Manaig at 837-7534 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Secretary Mario Montejo (DOST), Secretary Enrique Ona (DOH), Chancellor Manuel Agulto (UP Manila) and Chair Patricia Licuanan (CHED) are set to sign the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the “Philippine National Health Research System Act of 2013” this September.

To fully implement the PNHRS Act of 2013, the IRR lay down the guidelines on institutionalizing the Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) including the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB) and regional health research system.

Prior to the signing, the IRR went through a series of public consultations with health research stakeholders in Davao, Iloilo, and Manila on June 25, 26, and 28, 2013. Participants came from the academe, medical institutions, government offices, non-government organizations, media, and international organizations. The Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD), Department of Health (DOH), Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and University of the Philippines Manila-National Institutes of Health (UPM-NIH), the PNHRS implementing institutions, spearheaded these consultations.

A web-based consultation was also held from July 9 to 11, 2013 to reach the online community and obtain important comments, suggestions, and recommendations on the IRR.

After the series of consultations, implementing agencies consolidated the comments of the stakeholders before the review of the legal officers on the final version of IRR.