The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development presented the Balik Scientist Program (BSP) during the Innovation Forum of the 2018 Regional Science and Technology Week held at the Municipal Gymnasium, Gonzaga, Cagayan on August 14, 2018.
Dr. Carol M. Yorobe
Dr. Carol M. Yorobe, Undersecretary for S&T services addressed a message to the participants that focused on the importance and impact of science and technology to our community.
Meanwhile, Ms. Wilma Santos, BSP-PCHRD Coordinator, started her presentation by orienting the participants on BSP. She also presented the draft IRR for the Balik Scientist Act of 2018. She engaged the participants in a workshop on the improvement of the draft BSP IRR.

There were about 200 attendees coming from different provinces in the region which included Regional Line Agencies (DepED) State Universities (CSU, ISU), Local Government Units and Private Sectors (FILFOOD Products).

Republic Act 11035 also known as the Balik Scientist Act mandates the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to invite Filipino scientists to return to the Philippines to fill in the gaps in scientific and technological expertise in the country. The program aims to strengthen the scientific and technological human resources of the academe, public and private institutions, including locally registered enterprises in order to promote knowledge sharing and accelerate the flow of new technologies into the country.

Every year, the health research community unites and exchange ideas to improve the health status in our country. This year, the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) in association with Cordillera Regional Health Research and Development Consortium organized the celebration of the 12th Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Week held on August 6-9, 2018 at the CAP John Hay Trade and Cultural Center, Baguio City with the theme “Research and Innovation for Equity in Health”.

The weeklong celebration evolved on talks and discussions about ways on how to address current and pressing health issues and concerns. It is also during this time that regional consortia showcase their funded research papers through a research competition. Criteria for judging includes, but not limited to the importance of the project, innovativeness, addresses real health and health related problem, and has the potential to be converted into policy, product and service. With that, the Region 1 HRDC team had an excellent performance in this recently concluded event.

  • Holden Kirby M. Valdez, RN, MPH, PhD from Virgen Milagrosa University Foundation (VMUF), San Carlos City Pangasinan, bagged the First Place Award – Poster Exhibit Contest – Professional Category for his paper entitled Anti-Thrombophenic Activity of Formulated Papaya (Carica Papaya) and Guava (Psidium Guajava) Capsule on Sprague Dawley (Rattus Norvegicus) Rat.
  • Ukoba Obatavwe, from Virgen Milagrosa University Foundation (VMUF), San Carlos City Pangasinan, bagged the Second Place Award – Poster Exhibit Contest – Student Category for his paper entitled Antiproliferative Property of Bryophyllum Pinnata (Lam.) Oken. Leaf Extract on Human Breast Cancer Cell Lines.
  • Jimmy G. Catanes, RPh, MPH, MDM, PhD, from Virgen Milagrosa University Foundation (VMUF), San Carlos City Pangasinan is a finalist for the Research Presentation (Professional Category) with his paper entitled Cancer Chemopreventive Activity of the Characterized Bioactive Alkaloid Extract from Sorgum Bicolor.
  • Special Award for the Best Consortia Website Award was given only to the Region 1 HRDC Website for their continuous improvement and update on the latest happenings within the region.
  • The R1HRDC – Ethics Review Committee (ERC) is now Level 1 Accredited by the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB). As such R1HRDC ERC can now make an independent review and decision regarding research proposals in accordance with the rules set for level 1 ERCs.

The R1HRDC team headed by the Chairperson Dr. Maria Lourdes K. Otayza promised to continue and improve its operations to support every goal of PCHRD and PNHRS in delivering upgraded health status in the nation.


Other young consortium in the country look up to R1HRDC as a developed consortium and some makes R1HRDC as their path of benchmarking activities. While it is overwhelming and a pride to the consortium, the Management Committee never cease to plan for activities that will develop the capacity of the organization. Last July 4, 2018 the Western Visayas Health Research and Development Consortium, Ilo-ilo City, headed by Dr. Alice Joan Ferrer welcomed the R1HRDC for an educational tour.

Overall Chairperson Dr. Maria Lourdes K. Otayza, spearheaded the tour together with other key persons of R1HRDC namely: Dr. Jose B. Orosa III (R&D Chair), Dr. Unity H. Cortez (CBC Chair), Dr. Hilarion Maramba Jr. (ERC Chair), Dr. Mercita Queddeng (RUC Chair), Ms. Lucila Roja and Ms. Wilma Santos (PCHRD Representatives), Ms. Maingelline Vivit (MMSU-TLDC Representative), Ms Ana Gay Ranga (R1HRDC Secretariat) and Ms Maria Virginia Ulit (R&D Secretary). The group learned about the framework of the scholarship program that they are implementing. This immersion activity opened a door to observe the culture of Western Visayas as well as their experiences in training and mentoring amateur researcher to come up with a good quality health research proposals worthy of funding. Today, this scholarship program has already produced and completed eight (8) research projects and there are still on going.

As such, the R1HRDC is very willing to make a policy/resolution to adopt also a scholarship program. This is to enhance the potential of the consortium to develop researchers for the region. This will provide an opportunity for our aspiring researchers to hone their skills an

d help them grow as professional researchers. While doing the entire process of research, the researcher will be provided with a mentor to properly monitor and guide the scholars.

On top of it, it is hoped that upon the implementation of this scholarship program, funded research and research enthusiasts will grow in Region 1.

The Cordillera Regional Health Research and Development Consortium, through the initiative of the Capacity Building Committee, held a Grounded Theory seminar at the College of Science AVR, University of the Philippines Baguio City on June 12, 2018. The activity aimed to orient and train the participants on the tenets of Grounded Theory as a research method or approach and a way of thinking about and conceptualizing data and to introduce them to a new perspective of looking at research. 

Participants, 68 in all, we’re not only graduate students but also faculty researchers from various local institutions.

The seminar was the consortium’s way of bringing Grounded Theory closer to a wider circle of researchers. Dr. Tove Giske, President of the Nurses Christian Fellowship International, Bergen, Norway, substantially tackled what Grounded Theory is, its historical and philosophical roots, the methods of preparations for a GT study, quality in data collections, analysis process, literature review, and how to write up findings for GT studies.

With great honor and pleasure to serve fellow advocates on health research, the Eastern Visayas Health Research & Development Consortium (EVHRDC) welcomed participants from the Department of Health Regional Office No. II for a Benchmarking Activity and Dialogue on Health Research Initiatives recently held at the DOST Regional Office VIII, Government Center, Candahug, Palo, Leyte on June 26, 2018.

The visitors from DOH RO II were the Research Management and Development (RMD) Coordinator, Carissa Pagulayan, and Health Program Researchers, namely: Charmaine Barangan, Desiree Deray, Madeline Tamayo, and Dan Reyes.

Participants of the activity were the EVHRDC Research Management Committee (RMC) with Leonido Olobia as Chair, and members namely: Dr. Bayani Blas (RTRMF), Catherine Iglesias (CHED), and Dr. Amabel Ganzo (UPM-SHS).

Also in attendance were the EVHRDC Coordinator, Dr. Lucia Dauz, and the committee chairs of ERC and SOMEC, Dr. Jane Borrinaga and Josephine Hipe, respectively.

One of the highlights of the activity was the sharing of best practices from committee chairs and members of the different EVHRDC committees, of EVHRDC in general, and that of DOH RO8.

There were also presentations on the overview of EVHRDC, its accomplishments for CY 2017 and mid of 2018, as well as the targets for the second semester of the current year.

After the presentations and an open forum, the participants were taken for a tour to the EVHRDC ERC Office.

Grateful for the opportunity, the EVHRDC thanked the visitors for considering region 8’s consortium in their benchmarking activity.

EVHRDC and DOH RO2 are hopeful to undertake collaborative projects and activities in the future.

Palo, Leyte- “The sustained support and commitment expressed by the various stakeholders promises a successful celebration of this year’s nutrition month and the realization of our efforts to accelerate and improve the overall health and nutrition status of our children and the entire people in Eastern Visayas,” said by the Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator Dr. Catalino P. Dotollo, Jr. during the Nutrition Month (NM) Stakeholders Meeting, held on 19 June 2018, at the PopCom Conference Room, PopCom Compound, Government Center, Palo, Leyte.

Said expression came after the nutrition stakeholders from the local government units, non-government organizations, civil society organizations, among others, conveyed their support and participation to the month-long activities which will be highlighted with motorcade and launching activities, thematic talks, nutri-contests, and food garden advocacies.

The nutrition month celebration is pursuant to Presidential Decree 491, or the Nutrition Act of the Philippines, signed on June 25, 1974, which mandates the National Nutrition Council (NNC) to spearhead the nationwide celebration of the Nutrition Month.

This year’s celebration, with the theme is “Ugaliing Magtanim, Sapat na Nutrisyon Aanihin!”, underscores nutrition awareness through improved food access by increasing the number of households, schools, and communities engaged in food gardens. Specifically, the celebration aims to (1) encourage development of food gardens among families and in communities, schools, government offices, and workplaces; (2) mobilize various stakeholders to provide a fostering environment for sustainable food gardens; and (3) provide a platform to generate success stories of food gardens and recognize successful food gardeners.

Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) manager and nutrition stakeholder Eunice de Guia said that the celebration in July will not only give us awareness on the nutrition month’s theme, but will also ignite advocacies for a continued commitment in building a well-nourished community.

Non-governmental organization who provided and offered material assistance and support were from UNICEF, Plan International, World Vision, ADRA, Samaritan’s Purse, Zuellig Family Foundation, and Rotary Club of Kandaya.

In her closing message, the National Economic and Development Authority Chief Economic Development Specialist, Ma. Victoria C. Cuayzon, said that she can see a picture of success of the month long celebration with the overflowing support by the various stakeholders to celebrate the Nutrition Month in July.”

As initial activity, a Regional Nutrition Month Launching is scheduled on July 03, 2018 which will highlight gardening techniques lectures and will showcase successful organic vegetable gardening in the region. (NASLabordo, NNC8)

Department of Health (DOH) Nutrition Program Manager, Felicita Borata and National Tuberculosis Program Nurse Coordinator, Caryl Lapriza share some health information particularly on the Importance of Breastfeeding and the Prevention and Control of Tuberculosis, to some Barangay residents of the 5 barangays in Quarry District of Tacloban City.

The barangay health forum which was initiated by the Philippine Information Agency, Leyte Provincial Office was held last June 11, 2018 at the Eastern Visayas State University (EVSU).