Philippine Health Research Ethics Board
The Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB) is the main policy making body on health research ethics in the Philippines.
PHREB was established through the recommendation of the Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) in 2003.
The Board is composed of 13 members, representing a balance of background, gender and disciplines (e.g., health research, philosophy, law, academe, medicine, public health/epidemiology, theology, social science and allied health sciences). There are also those who are from people’s organizations and the youth sector.
Functions of PHREB
Formulate/update guidelines for the ethical conduct of human health research;
Develop guidelines for the establishment and management of ethics review committees and standardization of research ethics review;
Monitor and evaluate the performance of institutional ethics review committees in accordance with procedures outlined in a prior agreement;
Promote the establishment of functional and effective ethics review committees;
Provide advice and make recommendations to the PNHRS Governing Council and other appropriate entities (including the Food and Drugs Administration[FDA]) regarding programs, policies, and regulations as they relate to ethical issues in human health research;
Initiate and contribute to discourse and discussions of ethical issues in human health research; and
Network with relevant local, national and international organizations
National Ethics Committee
The National Ethics Committee was created through the DOST Special Order 84-053 series of 1984, an initiative of then Executive Director, Dr. Alberto G. Romualdez, Jr. to promote ethics review in health research. Tasked to ensure that all biomedical researches involving human participants conform to international ethical principles and standards towards respect for the sanctity of life and dignity of person, NEC put together the first set of national guidelines for the conduct of biomedical research in 1985.
In 2010, the NEC was temporarily phased out (DOST Special Order # 383) only to be reactivated on 9 December 2013 because of the pressing need for a national body to review researches which are of national importance. Its functions were clarified as follows:
||Ethics Review of research protocols that: (1)are referred by other agencies especially government-funded researches that are to be conducted in institutions that do not have their own Ethics Review Committees (ERC); (2) are directed to NEC by the Philippine Health Research Ethics Portal (PHREP); (3) the NEC may deem appropriate to review.
||Assist Institutional ERCs in the resolution of difficult ethical issues
||Provide input to the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) and other government agencies including Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA), regarding ethical issues in relevant studies
||Provide applicable information to PHREB in the formulation of policies and guidelines in health research
||Network with other national ethics bodies (i.e. National Bioethics Advisory Committee (NBAC), National Transplant Ethics Committee NTEC), Philippine Genomics Center - Ethical Legal Social Issues Program (PGC-ELSI)) in contributing to the development of an ethical research environment.