PALO, LEYTE - A total of about 120 local government units in Eastern Visayas is now equipped with the knowledge and skills on how to effectively integrate nutrition of Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) programs and projects in the updating of Provincial Development and Physical Framework Plan (PDPFP), Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) and the Local Development Investment Program (LDIP) Fiscal Year 2020-2022.

The planning workshop on integrating nutrition in the PDPFP, CDP and LDIPs was conceived primarily to: (1) increase the understanding of provincial/city/municipal teams on the alarming problem of malnutrition in the country and its impact on national and local development, and the need to scale up nutrition in their plans and budgets by effectively making the case of why and how to invest in nutrition; (2) effectively integrate PPAN programs and projects in the updating of PDPFPs, CDPs and LDIPs FY 2020-2022;(3) further strengthen the capacity for factoring nutrition in the overall preparation of PDPFPs, CDPs and LDIPs FY 2020-2022 among development stakeholders; and (4) In the process of integrating nutrition in the updating of PDPFPs, CDPs and LDIPs FY 2020-2022, formulate local nutrition action plans for these local government units.

The government have strengthened the implementation of nutrition related programs through its policy issuances in 2018and 2019. The DILG and DBM issued national policies supporting nutrition actions at the local level – DILG Memorandum Circular 2018-42 dated 26 March 2018: Adoption and Implementation of the Philippine Plan of Actionfor Nutrition (PPAN) 2017-2022. The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) issued two policies: (1) National Budget Memorandum No. 130 dated 13 April 2018: Budget Priorities Framework for the Preparation of the FY 2019 Budget Proposals under Tier 2, to guide departments and agencies in the crafting of their Tier 2 budget proposals and (2) Local Budget Memorandum No. 77 and 77a: FY2019 Internal Revenue Allotment and Guidelines on the Preparation of the FY 2019 Budgets of Local Government Units to prescribe guidelines in the preparation of the FY 2019 budgets of LGUs, identify priorities in the use of the IRA and other local resources. Republic Act 11037: “MasustansyangPagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act”, provides for a comprehensive national feeding program for undernourished children in public day care, kindergarten and elementary schools. Republic Act 11148:“Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act” instructs national government agencies and local governments to scale up health and nutrition actions to secure the health and nutritional well-being of mother and children in the first 1000 days.

It has been nine successful years of celebrating and sharing health research results to partner institutions and health enthusiasts. The 9th Health R&D Expo, an annual activity spearheaded by the Regional Health Research and Development Consortium XI (RHRDC XI), was conducted on October 3 to 4, 2019 at the Grand Regal Hotel, Davao City. The health R&D expo is a venue to educate participants on completed and innovative health researches for utilization in Davao Region and in the Philippines.

This year, topics such as Biodiversity and Natural Products in Mindanao, Qualitative Research, and Sustainable Development Goals were conferred during the plenary sessions. Simultaneous oral and poster competitions for graduate and undergraduate categories were also the highlights of the R&D Expo. All of these plenaries were in line with this year’s theme: Achieving SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being through Research and Innovation. The theme is part of the contribution of a bigger spectrum which is achieving the health-related sustainable development goals (SDGs) by the year 2030.

RHRDC XI will continue to strengthen the research culture and capacitate its member institutions to harness new knowledge, innovations and technologies in improving the health conditions of the people in Mindanao.

In line with the purpose of capacitating health researchers, CHRDC conducted a workshop on statistical data analysis: Phase II last September 26-27, 2019, at the Grand Palace Hotel, Butuan City. The lecturers are from the Mathematical and Statistical Computing Research Center of Caraga State University (CSU) namely, Ms. Karen B. Burdeos, Ms. Sheila Rae E. Permanes, Mr. Jan Niño G. Tinio, and Mr. Breix Michael G. Agua. They shared their knowledge on the fundamentals of statistical data analysis, as well as on descriptive statistical measures, inferential analysis assumptions, test for significant difference, test for significant relationships, and multiple linear regression.

The participants, whom the majority have also attended the Basic Research Module Training, were taught on techniques to properly identify the right statistical tools needed to quantify the data that they will be collecting in their research proposals. They were introduced on how to use the SPSS statistics software in analyzing sample data.  The CHRDC member-institutions participated the workshop include the Father Saturnino Urios University (FSUU), Caraga State University (CSU), Surigao State College of Technology (SSCT), Saint Paul University Surigao (SPUS), Department of Health – Center for Health Development (DOH – CHD) Caraga, PhilHealth- Caraga, and DepEd – Caraga.

Cotabato City – Following their reorganization last June 2019, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Health Research and Development Consortium (BHRDC) held its second Management Committee meeting on September 24, 2019 at the Alu Hotel in Davao City.

Under the stewardship of its Chair, Engr. Aida M. Silongan, Minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MOST-BARMM), in coordination with the Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council of Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD), the meeting was convened to  discuss pressing issues such as mobilizing the different BHRDC Technical Working Committees (TWCs) and implementing activities that are relevant in responding to the health problems besetting the region.

Minister Silongan was ably represented during the meeting by Dr. Norma A. Dalamban, Chief of the Technical Management Division of MOST- BARMM. Also in attendance were the Chairs of the Technical Working Committees: Ms. Nurhaya Sumaluyan of Capacity Building Committee; Dr. Fema Abamo of Research Management Committee; Ms. Lilian Macadupang of Research Ethics Committee; and Dr. Michael Macion of Research Utilization Committee. BHRDC Regional Coordinator, Ms. Nadjiyah Sinarimbo, BHRDC secretariat, Ms. Rohania Ibrahim and Ms. Marinell Mabazza, and Regional Project Officer of DOST-PCHRD, Ms. Maria Belen Balbuena participated as well in the discussions. 

Dr. Macion presented his committee’s initial plans while Dr. Abamo reported that 13 proponents were able to submit capsule proposals and will attend the upcoming Basic Research Methods (BRM) training on September 29-October 2, 2019 in Zamboanga City.

At the end of the meeting, Dr. Dalamban assured the body that, as Chair of the consortium, Minister Silongan commits her full support to the consortium. The TWCs will also do their share in ensuring that all planned activities are implemented and monitored.

Written by: Ms. Rohania Ibrahim 

Edited by: Ms. Ullyann Garcia and Ms. Maria Belen Balbuena

As part of the advocacy of the consortium to promote PHREB accreditation of CLHRDC member institutions’ ethics review committees and conduct of ethically-sound researches, Basic Research Ethics Training has been conducted. It was held at Green Manor Hotel, City of San Fernando, Pampanga, and was attended by 30 participants from 16 member institutions.

The training objectives were the following:

  1. To dialogue and guide participants regarding the moral dimensions of research
  2. To help participants conduct or review ethical research
  3. To sensitize participants regarding basic research ethics concepts
  4. To help participants apply these ethical concepts: avoid, recognize, correct ethical issues
  5. To describe participants the different controls for research ethics, focusing on the Research Ethics Committees (RECs) and the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB)
  6. To motivate participants to do and advocate quality ethical research

Dr. Ricardo M. Manalastas, Jr. and Dr. Maria Salome N. Vios of PHREB were the resource speakers for the 2-day activity. Lectures on the introduction to ethics in research, scientific soundness, principles of non-maleficence, respect for person and justice were discussed on the 1st day. For the 2nd day, discussions regarding social and behavioral research, national, international and institutional controls, revising review and after the review process, and the ethical research were given. Activities such as role-playing and protocol reviews were done after each lecture.

In light of the need to promote and disseminate the results of the finished researches, the consortium through the Research Utilization Committee (RUC) joined two different activities of its stakeholders this month of September.

A research caravan was conducted by the University of Northern Philippines (UNP) on September 8, 2019, in collaboration with the Philippine Nurses Association - Ilocos Sur Chapter. The vision and mission of the R1HRDC were presented as well as the findings of the DOST - PCHRD - R1HRDC funded research projects to encourage health professionals especially the nurses to engage in quality health research to improve the quality of life.

Another celebration is the 2019 Regional Science and Technology Week (for Region 1) on September 17-20, 2019 held at Centennial Arena, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte with the theme, "Science for the People: Enabling Technologies for Sustainable Development". Spearheaded by the Department of Science and Technology Regional Office 1,

the celebration was attended by their various stakeholders which showcased the significant scientific and technological breakthroughs that support inclusive socio-economic growth in the region. The exhibit area was divided into six (6) clustered groups following the sustainable development goals that featured Technology Exhibits, Technology Fora, Interactive Exhibits, and Technology Bazaar among others. Under the clustered groups on Aging Society, Health and Medical Care, the R1HRDC displayed posters of the 7 (Seven) funded and finished research papers. Most of the participants were not able to fully understand the scientific aspect of the exhibited researches, however, results were explained in simpler words they can understand and appreciate.

At the end of the activities, the participants manifested their eagerness to know more about the services that the consortium offers, especially the training on how to develop research proposals.

BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera Regional Health Research and Development Consortium (CRHRDC) spearheaded a Training of Trainers on Basic Research Methods here at the El Cielito Inn on September 23-25.

This activity engaged twenty-eight (28) participants, mostly from the academic institutions, in a comprehensive three-day distributive learning process that builds their knowledge base and skills required to effectively train educators to deliver training/s on basic research. Likewise, it also aimed to further develop a pool of succeeding trainers for the capacity building activities on health research in the region and in the participants’ respective institutions.

The training workshop utilized the standardized basic research methods module course and teaching guide developed by the Philippine Council on Health Research and Development (PCHRD) through the commissioned project of Dr. Ophelia Mendoza (UP Manila).

CRHRDC Regional Coordinator Dr. Erlinda Palaganas said that training the trainers is important as it helps them impart their respective trainings more efficiently and effectively. It actually gives them an opportunity to work on their skills and core competencies and come out with something more exciting, innovative and unique methods, eventually benefiting the end-users, whether researchers and students.

This is the first time that the consortium held such kind of training in an effort to hone the skills of research educators, which will eventually lead to the production of more researchers and researches in the region.