The PNHRS Research Utilization Committee (RUC) and the RUCs of the different Regional Health Research and Development Consortia (RHRDC) convened for the Consortia RUC Planning held on October 15-16, 2019 at Casa Blanca Suites, Legazpi City, Albay. This was a follow-through activity of the business meeting conducted during the 13th Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Week celebration in Cagayan de Oro City last August 2019.

The objective of this two-day planning was to facilitate the harmonization of efforts of the RUC Consortia in the dissemination of research information and maximize its utilization.

Ms. Merlita Opeña (Chief of the Research Information, Communication, and Utilization Division) of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) presented and discussed the PNHRS Strategic Plan 2019-2022, which is the primary basis for the development of the RUC plans of the regions, and technology transfer.

Moreover, the following topics were discussed which are essential in the planning of programs and activities of the RHRDC RUCs: Communicating Research and Research Results; and Translating Research to Policy by Ms. Ullyann Garcia (Senior Science Research Specialist, PCHRD).

The newly updated PNHRS Research Registry, HERDIN+ (Health Research and Development Information Network Plus), was presented by Ms. Violeta Intia (Senior Science Research Specialist, PCHRD) as an online tool for research institutions. This was formerly known as HERDIN, which is still the largest online compendium of health research studies in the country.

Mr. Ricardo Varela (Member, PNHRS RUC) facilitated the presentation of accomplishments of the RHRDC RUCs. The different RUC chairpersons and representatives provided a very productive discussion of the best practices in their respective regions.

During the synthesis on the second day, vital discussions were conducted concerning the alignment of the drafted plans by the regional representatives with that of the PNHRS Strategy Map 2019-2022. Consequently, this will help in the refinement of the plans and programs of the regional RUCs that will be included in their respective Consortia planning.

Written by Carlson Dave Bolinto

Around 40 potential partners from the pharmaceutical industry met with the lead negotiators of the Tuklas Lunas™ Program during the Philippine Health Research Innovations Matching Event (PHRIME) on Thursday, October 17 to discuss how the outputs of the Drug Discovery and Development Program can further be developed and reach the Filipino consumers.


Organized by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD), PHRIME aims to present the pioneering batch of herbal drug candidates developed through DOST-PCHRD’s Tuklas Lunas™ program for various health conditions.

“It is only when the research results from our drug discovery program reach the market can we truly say that research serves the best interest of the Filipino people,” said Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, Executive Director of DOST-PCHRD.

Aiming to produce world-class medicines derived from the Philippine biodiversity, the DOST-PCHRD opens opportunities for the pharmaceutical sector to co-develop medicines with researchers, by investing in drug development, or obtain early license for eventual commercialization.

This is history in the making, as this will be the first time that we will show you what we have done through the years with Tuklas Lunas. DOST is seeking partnerships to put these outputs into pre-clinical and clinical studies, and eventually, for commercialization,” Dr. Montoya emphasized.

DOST’s Undersecretary for Research and Development, Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevara, who stressed that health, of all interests, must always come first. “You as the industry for pharmaceuticals have the opportunity to improve the health of the Filipino people. Ang challenge lang po namin sa inyo ay to be brave, believe in the Filipino researchers and scientists, and co-invest with the Department of Science and Technology.”

Tuklas Lunas™ is one of the research priority areas of DOST-PCHRD following the National Unified Health Research Agenda 2017-2022. To date, the program has supported and partnered with 28 institutions nationwide in studying the country’s biodiversity potential for drug research.

For more information about Tuklas Lunas, visit http://pchrd.dost.gov.ph.

Seven out of 35 researchers were recognized with the “Most Ready to Publish Paper” during the 16th Medical Writing Workshop for Young Researchers on 13-14 August 2019 at the Limketkai Luxe Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City.

Held in conjunction with the 13th Philippine National Health Research System Week, the award was given to participants whose research papers are deemed by the facilitators as well-written, organized, and have the greatest potential for publishing in peer reviewed journals.

Winners from this batch are as follows: Dr. Maria Bettina Quiambao from Philippine General Hospital, Ms. Katherine Kyra Alonday from the University of Santo Tomas, Dr. Lara Gabrielle Lim from the University of Santo Tomas Hospital, Ms. Nicole Bolo from the University of the Philippines Diliman, Mr. Noriel Calaguas and Mr. John Mark De Vera from Holy Angel University, and Mr. Huemer Uy from Cebu Normal University.

The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, in partnership with the Philippine Association of Medical Journal Editors (PAMJE) and Asia Pacific Association of Medical Journal Editors (APAME), conducts the writing workshop twice every year to help young researchers in health sciences acquire practical knowledge and writing skills in developing scientific articles for publications in scholarly peer-reviewed journals.


Written by Catherine Joy Dimailig


Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato T. dela Pena urged researchers, academe, private institutions and government to build on partnerships and solidarity to address the sustainable development goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations (UN) for the country during the 13th Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Week.

In line with the theme, “Achieving Health-Related Sustainable Development Goals through Research and Innovation,” Sec. dela Pena reiterated that although addressing the most pressing health concerns of the country is the commitment of the PNHRS and its consortia members, it is also relevant to contribute to the achievement of all the other SDGs through partnerships and collaborations.

In his message delivered by DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Rowena Guevara, the Secretary said that, "The importance of partnerships in achieving the SDG targets behooves on us to always keep an open mind, to be ready to accommodate new ideas from people or sectors which are not in our traditional circles while recognizing that we too can contribute to other sectors.”

He further explained the role of all the regional consortia as key in ensuring equity in research and development and in making sure that all the research outputs are utilized.

The 13th PNHRS Week covered various topics on health, health research, policy making and research dissemination with 22 sessions during its 4-day long celebration held at the Limketkai Luxe Hotel in Cagayan de Oro City, last August 13 to 16, 2019.

Written by Jwynne Gwyneth Macan


Members and representatives of the PNHRS Research Utilization Committee from the 17 regional health research and development consortia participated in the 13th Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Week pre-conference session, “Campaigning towards AIDS-free Society,” held last 13 August 2019 in Cagayan de Oro City.

Highlights of the morning session are discussions which aims to raise awareness on the growing HIV/AIDS concern in the country by developing effective information campaigns. Three notable speakers were invited to discuss HIV/AIDS research, share experiences in handling patients with HIV, and lecture on the skills and techniques in developing information campaigns.

Dr. Emmanuel Baja, a PCHRD Balik Scientist awardee from UP Manila, discussed his study on HIV Gaming, Engaging, and Testing. He shared that through his research, they were able to develop a mobile application, Battle in the Blood, which became a very powerful tool in advocating towards the elimination of stigma on HIV and encouraged people to get themselves tested for HIV. Dr. Baja emphasized that in campaigning towards a certain cause, people engagement is crucial to truly make them relate to the advocacy.

Dr. Bernadeth Gerodias, a psychologist at the Southern Philippines Medical Center, shared her experiences in handling patients suffering from HIV. She explained that professionals supporting patients living with HIV need to make space for their patients to process the emotional effect of their diagnosis, but not to make assumptions about what it means to them. Dr. Gerodias explained that because HIV’s psychological effects vary with every person, the approach into developing mental care and support for them also vary.

The discussion of Ms. Nini Santos, Consultant and Communication Expert from USAID STRIDE, underscores some of the strategies in developing information campaigns.  According to Ms. Santos, highlighting the mission in the content, exploring partnerships and engagements with different groups, and using appropriate channel for distribution are key elements into ensuring a successful campaign.

In the afternoon, the participants were grouped and assigned to work on their group’s campaign strategy applying all that they have learned during the morning session. After the workshop, the RUC held a business meeting to harmonize the RU Committee name and functions across the regions.


Written by Catherine Joy Dimailig

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