With support from the Department of Science and Technology's Business Innovation through Science and Technology (DOST-BIST) for Industry program, Herbanext Laboratories successfully launched the country’s very first scale-up facility for research on herbal extracts last December 2020. Investing a total of 11.7 million pesos, the DOST supported the acquisition and scaling up of equipment, and the development of the required facilities for the laboratory.

Based in Negros Occidental, the Applied Research and Innovation Laboratory (ARIL) aims to upscale R&D products and prepare them for commercialization. Armed with several state-of-the-art equipment, the laboratory will focus on development of herbal drugs, food supplements, functional foods, herbal cosmetics, and animal health products from the academe, government research centers, and the industry.

ARIL will follow a 7-step strategy in developing food supplements:
  1. Pre-feasibility studies or the analysis on the cost-competitiveness of the product;
  2. Standardization protocols or the identification of the marker compounds or active ingredients for the would-be drugs;
  3. Raw material processing or the identification of the raw materials to be used, as well as the strategy to cultivate them;
  4. Ingredient manufacturing which includes the extraction, concentration, and spray-drying processes;
  5. Formulation and packaging;
  6. Intellectual property rights and trademark applications; and
  7. Registration to the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

We anticipate that the launching of ARIL will bring significant developments in the country’s landscape of herbal drugs research in the coming years,” DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) Executive Director Dr. Jaime C. Montoya says. “As the first of its kind here in the Philippines, we are hoping that our researchers and partners in health, especially those engaged in drug discovery and development, will take advantage of this opportunity to scale up the fruits of R&D,” he added.

The ARIL is now accepting clients or contract research for product processing, scale-up services, laboratory services, trainings and internships. Interested parties may reach out to Herbanext through 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..

Part of the Science for Change initiative, the DOST’s BIST program aims to facilitate the acquisition of strategic and relevant technologies by Filipino companies to support R&D activities.

Call for Proposals: 2022 AHEAD-HPSR Program

The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development and the Department of Health is inviting you to the Call for Proposals for 2022 AHEAD-HPSR research priorities.
  1. Implementation of Province/City – Wide Workload Indicators of Staffing Needs (WISN) Study in Select Universal Health Care Integration Sites (UIS)
  2. Analysis of the Costs to Provide the Optimal Combination of Financial and Non-Financial Incentives that is Effective in Ensuring Adequate Distribution and Retention of Health Human Resource in Primary Care
  3. Phase II – Skill Mix
  4. Hospital Acquired Infection Rate (Validation Study)
  5. Assessment of Local Capacity of the Pharmaceutical Industry in the Philippines
  6. Market Mapping and Landscape Analysis of the Novel Tobacco Product Industry in the Philippines
  7. Assessment of Indoor Air Quality in Philippine Conveyances During Electronic Cigarette and Tobacco Heating System Use
  8. Impact Assessment on the Implementation Value Added Tax (VAT) Exemption to Medicines Prescribed for Diabetes, Hypertension and High Cholesterol
  9. Impact of Community Quarantine on Persons Who Use Drugs
  10. Health Facility and Household Survey on Access to and Use of Medicines in the Philippines
  11. Review of Innovative Health Financing for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) among ASEAN Member States (Phase 2)

Interested individuals preferably with institutional affiliations that are DOST accredited as science foundation are welcome to apply. You may submit the following initial requirements to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.:

  1. Capsule proposal (maximum of 5 pages)
  2. Letter of Intent
  3. Workplan Schedule (Gantt Chart of Activities)
  4. Curriculum Vitae of lead proponent (Principal Investigator/Project Leader)
  5. Profile of the Institution
  6. Endorsement of Agency Head

Deadline of submission of proposals is February 25, 2021. For queries, please contact Mr. Pio Justin Asuncion at (02) 651-7800 local 1326/1328 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) invites interested Filipino researchers to submit proposals under the 10th Joint Call for Proposals of the e-ASIA Joint Research Program (e-ASIA JRP) in the fields of health.              
The aim of the e-ASIA JRP 10th Health Research Call is to invite proposals for research addressing health and biomedical issues in East Asia and contribute to enhancing regional research capacity through multilateral collaboration. The call topics are:
  1. Infectious diseases
  2. Cancer
DOST- PCHRD, as one of the Member Organizations, will select two (2) research proposals under this Call.
Review Procedures Approval of proposals for research grants will be based on a multi-level review process:
  1. In-house screening and evaluation in terms of alignment to the research priorities, duplication, and completeness of requirements.
  2. Technical review and scoring by external consultants (Technical Panel) based on the following criteria:
    1. Relevance & Sensitivity
      • Alignment to national S&T priorities, strategic relevance to national development and sensitivity to Philippine political context, culture, tradition and gender and development.
    2. Technical/Scientific
      • Merit Sound scientific basis to generate new knowledge or apply existing knowledge in an innovative manner.
    3. Financial Feasibility
      • Financial viability of the undertaking with proponent’s and institutional capacity to manage R&D funds vis-à-vis the proposed work plan and budget
    4. Proponent’s / Institutional Capacity
      • Good track record or CV with proven competence to implement and complete the R&D program / project within the approved duration and budget.
    5. Program Contribution
      • How much the proposal will contribute to the overall achievement of the program? Other potential socio-economic, environmental, and health impact.
    6. Final approval by the PCHRD Governing Council or the PCHRD Executive Director depending on the recommended total budgetary requirement of the proposal.
    7. In each stage of the review process, the proponent may need to revise the proposal on the basis of the recommendations of the reviewers. The review process will take 40 working days or less provided that all the requirements had been submitted.
Who may apply for the grant?
Filipinos with at least a Master’s Degree in a relevant field, have proven research competence / track record, and employed in universities/colleges, research agencies/institutes, hospitals, and other health related agencies are eligible to apply for the research grant.
How to apply:
The interested researcher shall submit the following requirements online through the DOST Project Management Information System (DPMIS) (http://dpmis.dost.gov.ph/):
  • Project Proposal following the prescribed format in the DOST DPMIS website
  • Work plan Schedule (Gantt Chart of Activities)
  • Proposed Line-Item Budget (LIB) (DOST-GIA LIB Form)
  • Counterpart Funding of Implementing Agency
  • Informed Consent Form
  • Case Report Form, if applicable
  • Endorsement of Agency Head
  • Curriculum Vitae of Proponent(s)
  • Duties and Responsibilities of each Project Personnel
  • Letter of request addressed to:
The Executive Director
Philippine Council for Health Research and Development
Department of Science and Technology
Saliksik Building, DOST Science Complex, Gen. Santos Avenue
Bicutan, Taguig City, Metro Manila
DOST-PCHRD will also require the proponent to submit the following documents before the start of project implementation:
  • Biosafety Clearance, if applicable
  • Institutional Animal Care and Use Clearance, if applicable
  • Bureau of Animal Industry Clearance, if applicable
  • Ethics Clearance (for studies involving human subjects)
Deadline for online submission will be on or before 30 March 2021 (Philippine Standard Time). Note: Online submission will be through the DOST DPMIS website only. Submission through emails and hardcopies will not be accepted. 
  1. Funding Support Available
DOST-PCHRD will allocate up to 100,000 USD for each research project for a duration of three years. DOST Grants in Aid guidelines shall be applied.
For further information on the complete package of the Call and the application procedures of the 10th Joint Call of the e-ASIA JRP, you may visit the e-ASIA website: https://www.the-easia.org/jrp/ .

The lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic brought by a highly contagious virus that is believed to have originated from bats led Filipino researchers to assess what kind of pathogens exist in bats thriving in the Philippines.

But this is not a new research intervention in the country. In fact, the team of Dr. Lyre Murao of UP Mindanao conducted a study as early as 2018, with the premise that: since coronaviruses and leptospires have been detected in bats, their zoonotic nature must be investigated. With Mindanao as a biodiversity hotspot, the research team sought what kind of coronaviruses and leptospires lurk in the Philippine wildlife.

By hunting for pathogens in local fruit bats of Davao City, and conducting bat surveys following standard protocols in selected areas in Malagos, the team detected coronaviruses in seven (14%) of the 49 fruit bats collected, all from the lesser short-nosed fruit bat, and leptospires from one bat (2%) identified as Rousettus amplexicaudatus or the Geoffroy’s Rousette. 

This finding, however, is not a point of concern, as the detected coronaviruses and leptospires were found to be distantly related to their human counterparts.

Although this is a good sign, we must not be complacent, as these bats were commonly found in residential, agricultural, and tourist areas thereby inviting potential exposure to humans. Hence, the next step is to sustain wildlife monitoring of pathogens which can be integrated into the pandemic preparedness program of the Philippines by serving as a risk-assessment tool for zoonotic outbreaks,” said Dr. Murao, head of the research team.

Funded and supported by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) through its Regional Research Fund (RRF) program and through the Region 11 Health Research and Development Consortium (RHRDC XI), the team, through its similar efforts, also advocates for the One Health paradigm where promoting a healthy nature is tantamount to healthy people.

As part of the Council’s efforts to encourage new researchers to be actively involved in health research activities without having to compete with more experienced researchers, RRF projects like this research are intended to increase the capabilities of individual researchers in designing, implementing, and managing health research projects.

The research was conceptualized and implemented with the help of Assoc.Prof. Aleyla E. De Cadiz, Asst. Prof. Marion John Michael M. Achondo, Michael G. Bacus, and Marielle M. Udarbe of UP Mindanao- and in collaboration with Professor Sharon Yvette Angelina M. Villanueva of the University of the Philippines Manila and Dr. Roberto P. Puentespina, Jr. of Animal Solutions Veterinary Hospital. 


As we gear for the conduct of clinical trials in the country, we recognize the pressing need to harmonize and strengthen our efforts to ensure their smooth implementation,” Chair of the Task Group on Vaccine Evaluation and Selection and Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary for Research and Development Rowena Cristina Guevara says during the town hall sessions conducted for clinical trials on January 29, February 1 and 2, 2021.

Focusing on COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials, the sessions were held to generate support from key stakeholders, to inform the audience, and to prevent any kind of misinformation to spread.

DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) Executive Director Dr. Jaime C. Montoya provided an overview on the benefits, risks and importance of conducting clinical trials in the country. “Clinical trials are ongoing research, which means that we are not sure of the outcomes and that they may come with risks. [But] to minimize these risks and ensure the safety of participants, a rigorous review process is conducted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and its partner evaluators,” he says.

To highlight the critical importance of adhering to ethical guidelines, Forum for Ethical Research Committee in Asia and Western Pacific Region (FERCAP) Coordinator Dr. Cristina Torres discussed the protocols and practices to uphold the rights of every participant.

Common queries discussed during the sessions revolved around the following topics: the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccine candidates, the risks and benefits of participating in clinical trials, ethical guidelines and considerations, the protocols, timelines and logistics of the clinical trials, among others.

Attended by local government officials and hospital workers in trial sites and hospitals, the series gathered a total of 603 participants via Zoom and 1,500 viewers through the DOST-PCHRD and the DOH Facebook pages.

Replays of these sessions are available in the DOST-PCHRD and DOH Facebook pages. The transcription of the Q and A can be downloaded here