The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, in partnership with the health advocacy social media group #HealthXPh, held the 4
th Healthcare and Social Media Summit on 9 June 2018 at Grand Regal Hotel, Davao City.

With the theme “Social Media and Health Professions Education: Shaping the Future through Research and Innovation,” the event highlighted the impact of social media in work, education, and research particularly in developing partnerships, encouraging collaboration, and building networks.

The summit focused on six tracks along with healthcare social media research presentations. The program tracks are as follows: use of social media by teachers in health professions education, use of social media by students, establishing personal learning networks on Twitter for medical educators and healthcare professionals, building presence for advocacies on social media, developing policies for social media, and social media for patients and advocates.

In his message read by Research Information Communication and Utilization Division Chief, Ms. Merlita Opeña, PCHRD Executive Director, Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, emphasized the importance of social media in the current generation as a tool in everyday life. He said, “Social media is used not only to share ideas and show interests, but also to build relationship and form communities.”

Closing the summit was an unconference, a session which gives the chance to more than 150 summit participants to sit in a panel of five persons at a time to discuss healthcare and social topics and offer their opinions and answers to questions submitted through Twitter.

The Healthcare and Social Media Summit, a yearly event supported by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, brings together health professionals and researchers in social media to discuss the current trends and the impact of social media platforms in research and health innovation.

For more information on other upcoming events and conferences, please visit http://www.pchrd.dost.gov.ph/ and http://www.healthresearch.ph/


In its aim to promote healthy lifestyle, the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) spearheads the conduct of #HatawAgham4 on 19 July 2018 at the World Trade Center Manila.

Hataw Agham, part of the National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) celebration, includes various physical activities and series of health talks. For this year’s event, Zumba demonstration will be led by Ms. Natalie Uy-Chan of Zumba Fitness Philippines while, Dr. Lorna Espeso of Adamson University will lecture on healthy lifestyle for people with desk jobs.

Through #HatawAgham4, the Council hopes to encourage individuals to work toward goals in achieving healthy lifestyle. Interested participants may register at https://bit.ly/2ty47ZY . For more info about the National Science and Technology Week, please visit pchrd.dost.gov.ph.


Science and technology sector celebrates another success with the President’s signing of the “Balik Scientist Act” on 15 June 2018.  The Republic Act No. 11035 strengthens the implementation of the Balik Scientist Program (BSP) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) by providing incentives to foreign-based Filipino scientists who will go back to the country to transfer knowledge and share expertise.

Established in 1975, the BSP aims to promote information exchange and accelerate the flow of new technology into the country through strengthening the scientific and technological human resource of the academe, public, and private institutions.

The law mandates DOST to invite Filipino scientists across the globe to return and serve as experts and consultants in improving the science and technology agenda of the country. The Department approves and awards short-term, medium-term, and long-term commitment of returning scientist.

Among the benefits and incentives a ‘Balik Scientist’ can enjoy include exemption from licensing or permitting requirements from the Professional Regulation Commission, accident and medical insurance coverage, reimbursement of baggage expenses related to scientific projects, and exemption from renouncing their oath of allegiance to the country where they took oath, among others.

Meanwhile, scientists who commit to long-term engagement program receive special relocation benefits, tax and duty exemption to importation of one motor vehicle, personal and household effects, and professional equipment, admission support to the preferred schools of their minor children, assistance in securing job opportunities for their spouses, and monthly housing or accommodation allowance.

The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), one of the implementing agencies of BSP, focuses on evaluating applicants for the health R&D sector. Since 2007, PCHRD was able to engage with 82 Balik Scientist specializing in various fields such as biochemistry, neuroscience, microbiology, and others.

Through this law, DOST and PCHRD hopes that more scientist will be encouraged to return and help aid the country in improving our S&T agenda through research and innovation.



The country celebrates the approval of the Philippine Mental Health Law or Republic Act 11036 after it was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on 21 June 2018.

Before the law, the Philippines belonged to the one quarter of countries in the world without legislation that supports mental health. The enactment of the Mental Health Act serves as a monumental step toward providing the necessary mental health services the population needs.

The law enables barangays to provide mental health services through the scaling up of community and grassroots mental health programs, integration of psychiatric, psychosocial, and neurological services in government hospitals, and promotion of mental health education in school and workplace.


According to a joint study in 2014 by the University of the Philippines Manila National Institute–Institute of Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Health, Foundation for Advancement of Clinical Epidemiology and Philippine Psychiatric Association, which analyzed data from 2,562 patients with mental illness, schizophrenia is the top brain disorder affecting mentally ill Filipinos. RA 11036 will help address the needs of the growing population that only has 700 psychiatrists and 1000 psychiatric nurses serving it by securing the rights and welfare of mental health professionals.

Among other provisions in the law, schools and workplaces will be required to create programs and services on mental health education, while institutions and businesses will be given training on mental health to address the concerns of both students and employees.

While such enactment is a huge step in making mental health care more affordable and accessible, the law also highlighted the importance of research and development to gather evidences required to formulate and develop culturally-relevant national mental health program including indigenous knowledge and practices related to mental health. In conducting mental health research, the law emphasized that researchers must ensure that informed consent were sought and approved by an accredited ethics committee. Research on mental health is listed as a priority under the National Unified Health Research Agenda (NUHRA) 2017 – 2022.

Through this law, PCHRD hopes that research mental health could be further improved and supported, and the development of better policies, services, and programs will be enacted, paving the way to healthier and happier Filipino nation.

For more information on the grant services of the Council, please visit our website and  PCHRD Project Management System.

Pasay City, METRO MANILA- It’s that time of the year again for the science community!

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will hold the National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) on 17-21 July 2018 at the World Trade Center (WTC).

With the theme “Science for the People: Innovation for Collective Prosperity,” the Science Department will once again highlight the contribution of science, technology, and innovation (STI) to national development.

This year, DOST will feature its breakthrough programs, technologies, and services into three clusters namely STI at Home, STI at Workplace, and STI at School. A marketplace area will also be placed to feature the products of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) assisted by DOST regional offices.

The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) leads the Home cluster where they will feature their newly-supported health technologies such as the Feasibility Analysis of Syndromic Surveillance using Spatio-Temporal Epidemiological Modeler (FASSSTER), a user-friendly tool for disease modeling and syndromic surveillance visualization of dengue, typhoid fever, and measles; and Agapay, a 3D-printed wearable robot which provides post-stroke and injured patients with a cost-efficient and high performance rehabilitation system.

The Health Research Council will also showcase their Omic Technologies for Health, a program which aims to utilize ‘Omic’ technology platforms in crafting local technologies which can be developed into personalized medicines, diagnostics, and therapeutics; and ReliefVent, a compact, affordable, safe, and effective intensive care unit (ICU) ventilator that can be used for both children and adults.

The Biotek-M, a local and cheaper confirmatory test for dengue diagnosis which is a gold medal awardee of the 46th International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva, and Tuklas Lunas, a program which aims to come up with efficacious, safe, and accessible standardized drug candidates are also included.

The Home Cluster will also house the technologies and products of the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI), the Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI), the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI), the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), the Science and Technology Information Institute (STII), the DOST regional offices, and partners such as the Design Center of the Philippines (DCP) and the De La Salle University (DLSU).

Our cluster will showcase the applications of STI in various parts of the home: living room, bed room, kitchen, dining room, comfort room, study room, and garden. We want to emphasize how science can help our people starting from the corners of their home,” Dr. Jaime Montoya, PCHRD Executive Director, explained.

Aside from the annual exhibit, people can also expect weeklong interactive games, raffle, massage, nutrition counseling, cooking demonstration, and photobooth. For more information, visit www.nstw.dost.gov.ph!