PNHRS logo with DOH, PCHRD, CHED, UPM

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.

 
KP Logo by Lorna Ballesteros

The Department of Health (DOH) will host its 14th National Health Research Forum in partnership with the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development-Department of Science and Technology (PCHRD-DOST), on October 16-17, 2013 at Diamond Hotel, Manila.

With this year’s theme “Partnership in Evidence”, the annual forum provides an opportunity to track down the progress of Kalusugang Pangkalahatan (KP) and maximize the value of research in policymaking.

About 300 participants from the health sector are expected to be at the forum. For more details, please contact Ms. Juanita Valeza at (02) 651-7800 local 1328 or (02) 781 4362.

 
please contact the DOST-JSPS Secretariat at telephone number 838-8376 or 837-2071 loc. 2001, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) calls for nominees to attend the 6th HOPE Meeting on March 11 – 15, 2014 in Tokyo, Japan.

The JSPS Hope Meeting is initiated to provide opportunities to Ph.D. students and postdoctoral researchers from the Asia-Pacific region to engage in interdisciplinary discussions with Nobel Laureates and other distinguished scientists pioneering in the frontiers of knowledge.

Interested agencies are encourage to nominate two (2) or three (3) Ph.D. students or postdoctoral researchers in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology/Medicine and other related fields.

Requirements include the following:

  • Names of nominees with endorsement letter from the head of his agency
  • Nominees’ curriculum vitae
  • Certification from the university that the nominees are currently enrolled as a Ph.D. students
  • Copy of the nominees’ Transcript of Record

 

Requirements must be submitted not later than September 16, 2013. Potential applicants must posses valid Philippine passport and be ready to travel.

For more inquiries, please comtact the DOST-JSPS Secretariat at telephone number 838-8376 or 837-2071 loc. 2001, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Further information about the HOPE Meeting can be found at http://www.jsps.go.jp/English/e-hope/index.html.

 

A decade ago, a new case of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) was reported every three days in the Philippines. Today, new HIV case is diagnosed every one and half hours, according to the Philippine National AIDS Council.  

A total of 449 new cases of HIV were recorded in July alone this year, according to Department of Health (DOH). This is 62% higher compared to the same period last year (n=278 in 2012) and the highest number of cases reported in a month.

As spread of HIV decreased in many parts of the world, the Philippines is one of the seven countries struggling to combat the increase of HIV epidemic wherein most of the reported cases were predominantly caused by sexual contact among men-having-sex-with-men (MSM).

Men’s participation in unsafe sex and drug injections were primary responsible for the transmission of HIV. According to DOH serologic surveillance, MSM were identified as one of the sub-population with the highest risk of acquiring HIV. This was further supported by a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal, identifying young sexually active MSM as core transmitter of HIV epidemic in the country.

The alarming increase of HIV in MSM poses an imminent threat and may impede the efforts of the nation to combat the disease.

As response to the rapidly increasing cases of HIV, legislators passed the “The Revised Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy and Program Act of 2012. The revised law amends the previous law that overlooks the “protection of and promotion of human rights as cornerstones of an effective response to the HIV epidemic.”

According to Dr. Edsel Maurice Salvaña of University of the Philippines Manila, Section of Infectious Diseases, in his article The Philippine HIV/AIDS epidemic: A call to arms, prevention and awareness campaigns remain by far potentially the most effective means of controlling HIV/AIDS in the Philippines.

With the knowledge, awareness, and medication such as retroviral treatment being offered for free in many public hospitals, the country has the capacity to potentially arrest and reverse the epidemic,” Dr. Salvaña stressed.

 
Balik Scientist Program by DOST

During the past two (2) decades, the brain drain has worsened in the Philippines. In an effort to counter this phenomenon and to capitalize on the Filipino emigrants’ expertise, the Balik Scientist Program (BSP), through the Presidential Decree 819, was established in October 1975.   It was revitalized in 2007, with the necessary policies and funding support.

The Balik Scientist Program (BSP) aims to promote information exchange and accelerate the flow of new technology into the country through strengthening the scientific and technological manpower of the academe and public and private institutions. The program’s objective is to encourage Filipino scientists and technologists to return and reside in the Philippines and share their expertise for the development of the country.

The transfer of the Balik-Scientist Program (BSP)  from the DOST Central Office to the three sectoral councils of DOST in May 2013 aims to strengthen, institutionalize and give more focus on each of the Council’s priority programs. The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) focuses on evaluating BSP Applicants for the health R&D sector.  This move aims to strengthen  the implementation of the priority programs identified in the DOST-PCHRD’s National Unified Health Research Agenda (NUHRA) for the health R&D sector through the provision of expertise by the Balik Scientists.

For the past six (6) years (2007 to present), there were a total of approximately thirty-eight (38) BSP awardees in the health sector.{jcomments off}