Hurray for S&T fans and exhibit goers!

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will again celebrate the annual National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) on 11 to 15 July 2017 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila, with the theme “Science for the People.”

Under the Proclamation No. 19, the third week of July was declared as the National Science and Technology Week, authorizing the DOST agencies to undertake commemorative ceremonies and activities providing focus on the contribution of S&T to national development.  

With the subtheme "Conquering Diseases, Promoting Health," the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) will lead the health cluster, with the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) and the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI).

For this year’s celebration, we want to show that our supported technologies are being used from womb to tomb. NSTW will serve as a good venue for other government agencies and private sectors to support and create similar initiatives improving the lives of the citizens through S&T,” Dr. Montoya said.

Expected activities in the health group include fora, games, raffle, massage, nutrition counseling, cooking demonstration, and weeklong interactive exhibit.

Among the programs and technologies to be featured include Drug Discovery and Development Program, Rxbox, OL Trap, Genomics, Pinggang Pinoy, Polyvinyl Pyrrolidone (PVP) Carrrageenan Hydrogel Dressing, Reliefvent, eHATID, and Axis Knee System.

For more information on NSTW2017, visit■

Department of Science and Technology

Call for Proposals 2017

Science for Change Program (S4CP)

Accelerated R&D Program for Capacity Building of Research and Development Institutions and Industrial Competitiveness

a) Niche Centers in the Regions for R&D (NICER) Program. The program will capacitate HEIs in the Regions, through an institutional grant for R&D activities that will make significant improvement in regional research and S&T infrastructure. Through NICER, HEIs will be able to integrate regional development needs with R&D and local resources.

b) R&D Leadership (RDLead) Program. The program will engage experts with strong leadership, management and innovative policy-making proficiency to be in charge of strengthening the research capabilities of the HEIs or RDIs. The RDLead experts will lead in establishing new and upgrading existing R&D Centers under the NICER Program, or upgrading of existing RDIs.

c) Collaborative Research and Development to Leverage Philippine Economy (CRADLE) Program. The program will help create a synergistic relationship between the academe as producer of knowledge and manpower, and the industry as the entity which translates technologies to real world applications to generate new opportunities for Filipinos in the form of new industries, enterprises, jobs and solutions to pressing community and national problems. Under the CRADLE Program, the private sector industry will identify the problem; and the HEI or RDI will undertake the research and development, with funding from DOST.

d) Business Innovation through S&T (BIST) for Industry Program. The program facilitates the acquisition of foreign technologies by Filipino companies for immediate incorporation into their R&D activities. The BIST program will provide partial funding to private sectors to enhance their technological capacity to undertake R&D through purchase of high-tech equipment, technology licensing, and acquisition of patent rights.

NICER, RDLead and CRADLE are for HEIs and RDIs; while CRADLE and BIST are for private industry companies.

For more details, please visit the DOST website at:


During the 3rd Philippine Healthcare and Social Media Summit on 25 April 2017 in Marco Polo Plaza Cebu, health experts cited possible ways in ensuring ethics in health research such as the following:

  • Safeguard participant privacy and confidentiality
  • Secure free and informed consent
  • Protect vulnerable populations
  • Draft ethical guidelines
  • Review Data Privacy Act

The said health experts included Dr. Pacifico Eric Calderon of the San Beda College of Medicine, Mr. Aldren Gonzales of the University of the Philippines Manila Medical Informatics Unit, and Prof. Maria Minerva P. Calimag of the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Medicine and Surgery.

Calderon also mentioned the challenges in maintaining physician-patient relationship such as poor quality of information, damage to professional image, violation of patient privacy, and blurring of professional and patient boundaries.

Gonzales added that social media is being utilized today in fields such as participatory medicine, behavioral studies, and public health promotion. According to Gonzales, the impact of social media can be measured through key performance indicators which include insights, exposure, reach, and engagement.

Meanwhile, Calimag discussed the social media ethics framework by the University of Aberdeen, the association of internet researchers (AoIR) 6 key guiding principles, and different scenarios and solutions to problems in research in healthcare and social media.

On this year’s Philippine Healthcare and Social Media Summit, six researchers conferred their studies during the oral research presentation.

Included in the list were Dr. Iris Thiele Isip-Tan of #HealthXPh, Mr. Kennedy Espina of the Ateneo de Manila University Department of Information Systems and Computer Science, Mr. Ralph Jason Li of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), Mr. Rick Jason Obrero of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine Medical Informatics Unit, Ms. Ann Meredith Garcia of the Blessed Family Doctors General Hospital, and Mr. Nelson Tiongson of the UP Manila Medical Informatics Unit.

Isip-Tan presented her research entitled “Content Analysis of Tweets of Pregnant Women with Diabetes” which aims to describe health beliefs of pregnant women with diabetes using tweets and discussed how information on diabetes in pregnancy is shared on Twitter. According to Isip-Tan, Twitter can be an expressive tool for women who have preexisting diabetes and Gestational Diabetes (GD) as this has identified issues that are important to the patients.

Espina discussed his master thesis which presents the use of real-time latent data from social media, particularly from Twitter, to complement existing disease surveillance efforts. He mentioned using Infodemiology to predict a range of possible disease incidences of dengue and typhoid fever within the Western Visayas region.

Li presented his study on the main sources of anxiety and dissatisfaction of gestational diabetes patients as determined by the content analysis of their blogs using the online tool Symplur. Results from his study showed that 422 out of 2,787 sentences from the 56 blogs expressed anxiety or dissatisfaction on symptoms or side effects (18.96%) and treatment (18.25%).

Obredo, on the other hand, discussed his research project wherein he gathered comments from Dr. Iris Thiele Isip-Tan’s highest commented Facebook post on Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). He recommended using a better pre-processing algorithm for the study.

Garcia presented her study on lung cancer-related Twitter activity among patients and healthcare-related professionals. She explained that Twitter can be used to describe aspects related to hashtag #lungcancer as well as the top concerns of patients by using cross-sectional internet-based study involving the analysis of all publicly available tweets posted by patients and healthcare professionals.

Tiongson explained that his study hopes to provide an initial assessment on how Facebook is being utilized as a health communications platform. Data from the Department of Health (DOH) Facebook page was consolidated and compared along with the standards defined in the Process Evaluation Framework by Neiger et. al. (2012). Based from the findings, the DOH Facebook Page has not been fully utilized, mostly in terms of engagement principles of social media.

The 3rd Philippine Healthcare and Social Media Summit is a summit organized by the Council, in partnership with the #HealthXPh.

Social media makes it easier to quickly share information and mobilize large number of people towards a shared goal- greater process in health. This was emphasized by Mr. Merlita Opeña, Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) Chief, during the 3rd Philippine Healthcare and Social Media Summit on 25 April 2017 in Cebu City.

During her opening remarks for the summit, Ms. Opeña noted the relevance of social media as a tool for crowdsourcing, defining and refining the research agenda, mobilizing resources and experts, ensuring ethics in research, disseminating results to a wider audience, and doing big data analytics.

I am certain that we will all rise to the challenge of balancing the communication opportunities provided by social media with the risks of misinformation, breach of patient privacy, violation of personal-professional boundaries, and other legal issues,” she further said.

According to Ms. Opeña, the Council has been maximizing the use of social media to increase awareness of its stakeholders on health research, provide health information, and develop the health research’s network and sub-networks.

Social media is an asset which organizations, including research organizations, should put into good use. It is my hope that our dynamic involvement in this conference will, together, enable us to translate research into policy, action and better health care services, even products,” she emphasized. 

The 3rd Philippine Healthcare and Social Media Summit is a summit organized by the Council, in partnership with the #HealthXPh.