With the goal of reaching a wider audience in the dissemination of health research results in Twitter and Facebook, the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology organized the Visualize Health Research, A Visual Abstract Contest.

Launched during the Philippine National Health Research System Week celebration on 24 August 2017 at the Philippine International Convention center (PICC), Pasay City, the contest is open to all creative Filipinos residing in the Philippines except all PCHRD employees and their immediate family members, and PCHRD’s project team members. Joining the contest is FREE of charge. To register, please visit this link.
Three individuals have an opportunity to win cash prize amounting to P30,000, P20,000, P10,000.

Here's the contest guidelines.


The contest is open to all creative Filipinos residing in the Philippines. Joining the contest is free of charge. Employees of PCHRD and members of their immediate family, and project team members are not eligible.
Contest piece: The image (as required by Twitter)
● Minimum to appear expanded 440 x 220 pixels (a 2:1 ratio).
● Maximum to appear expanded 1024 x 512 pixels.
● Maximum file size of 5 MB in JPEG format. (The file names of entries should follow this format: name of contestant_title (i.e. juanadelacruz_moments.jpg).
● All designs submitted shall be created specifically for this Contest and has not been used commercially.
● Limit one entry per person and per e-mail address.
● Entrant warrants and represents that they own all rights to the Entry, their Entry is the original work of the Entrant, does not contain any third party designs, does not infringe any third party’s rights, complies with all laws and regulations, and does not contain defamatory statements, or invade privacy, publicity or other rights of any third party. Entries containing prohibited or inappropriate content will be disqualified, as determined by the Company in its sole discretion.

● All interested participants should register at VISUAL ABSTRACT CONTEST REGISTRATION on or before 13 October 2017. You may select your chosen research study at HERDIN
● One registered participant, one entry. 
● The visual abstract should contain the proper citation of the study. See a sample of visual abstract HERE. Or you may check out HOW TO CREATE A VISUAL ABSTRACT
● The contest piece should be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
● Deadline of submission of entries is on 15 November 2017.

Criteria for Judging:
All visual abstract entries will be judged based on the following:
• Clarity of message – 35%
• Correctness and accuracy of translation – 35%
• Relevant creativity and originality – 20%
• Impact – 10 %

For more information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (02) 837-7534 and look for Ms. Ana Itulid.

After the contest, all the visual abstract submitted will become property of the Council.




The Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB) launched the 2017 National Ethical Guidelines for Health and Health-Related Research (NEGHHR) during the 11th Philippine National Health Research Week held on 24 August 2017 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).

With the continuing rapid developments in health and health-related science and technology and the rights and welfare of all individuals and communities involved as participants in mind, the existing ethical guidelines was updated to ensure adherence to local, national, and international principles, and values and respect for Filipino morals and culture.

The new edition seeks to address the question as to what constitutes health research while filling the gaps in areas not sufficiently covered in earlier editions. Likewise, it gives due course to the nuances in principles and regulations as they apply to different fields, types, and methodologies of research. Recognizing the broad understanding of health and the dimensions of disease and illness, the Guidelines also features a detailed section on health-related social science research.

The notable changes in the 2017 guidelines are the title, section revisions (e.g., responsibilities of various stakeholders, elements of research ethics), new added guidelines (e.g., research using online and digital tools, mental health research), and amended guidelines (e.g., clinical research, research involving IPs).

Speaking at the launch were Dr. Marita V.T. Reyes Chair, Ad Hoc Committee for Updating National Ethical Guidelines and Dr. Leonardo de Castro, Co-Chair, and PHREB Chair. “It (NEGHHR) reflects the faithfulness of PHREB to its responsibility to ethics in health research,” said Dr. Reyes.

Other members of the ad hoc committee are Dr. Ricardo M. Manalastas, Jr., Chair, PHREB Committee on Information Dissemination, Training, and Advocacy (CIDTA), Prof. Edlyn B. Jimenez, Coordinator, UP Manila Research Ethics Board (UPM REB), Dr. Rosario Angeles T. Alora, Head, Bioethics Committee, University of Santo Tomas Hospital, Dr. Cecilia V. Tomas, Member, PHREB Committee on Standards and Accreditation (CSA), and Dr. Evangeline O. Santos, Clinical Associate Professor, College of Medicine, UPM Member, PHREB CSA.

According to Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) Director, NEGHHR is definitely an affirmation of PHREB’s efforts to address emerging ethical issues in the conduct of health research and he commended the dedicated efforts of PHREB and its Ad Hoc Committee members in leading the revision of the guidelines.

The revised Guidelines shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette. Download the 2017 National Ethical Guidelines for Health and Health-Related Research (NEGHHR) at http://www.ethics.healthresearch.ph/




The AGAPAY Project team, led by Dr. Nilo Bugtai, has completed a rehabilitation device prototype for Filipino post-stroke patients.

Funded by the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD), the research team, composed of biomedical engineers from De La Salle University  and rehabilitation experts from University of the Philippines - Philippine General Hospital, created two robotic exoskeleton prototypes with a biofeedback mechanism for rehabilitation of post-stroke and injured patients by assisting motor movements in the shoulder, arm, and hand.

The biomedical devices, which were 3D-printed, offers a cost effective solution to production and works by utilizing a real-time biofeedback system which records neuromuscular activity using surface electromyography (sEMG).

During an interdisciplinary research symposium last 16 August at De La Salle University Manila, , the AGAPAY team demonstrated how the upper limb prototype mimicked the 7 degrees of mobility found in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists of patients, showing its potential use for physical therapy and rehabilitation.

AGAPAY Project’s arm prototype is demonstrated to the audience by going through the motions of mobility in seven different degrees; three movements for the shoulder, two for the elbow, and two movements for the wrist.

The second part of the demonstration showcased the lightweight, portable, and kinematic 3d-printed hand prototype model that aids mobility via a cable system.

With the completion of the first phase, the AGAPAY project will start its second phase this October, conducting safety testing and preclinical trials until August 2018, and eventually move forward with clinical trials and manufacturing for its third and fourth phases, respectively.

Six principles of an effective mental health program were presented by Dr. Anselmo Tronco, Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine of the Philippine General Hospital in the Drug Addiction and Mental Health Session during the 11th Philippine National Health Research System Week celebration on 24 August 2017 at the Philippine International Convention Center, Pasay City.

1. Address stigma.
People with mental health illness confront two challenges – the syndrome of the sickness itself and the discrimination they experience from the people around them. According to WHO, stigma has negative effects to the patients as it deteriorates self-esteem, disrupts family relationships and limits patient’s ability to socialize and secure housing and jobs. People thinks mentally ill patients are violent and dangerous but in fact patients have higher tendency to hurt themselves than hurting other people. Dr. Tronco urged for mental health awareness and campaigns be included in mental health programs.

2. Create relationship with the stakeholders for mental health
Local chief executives have important role in integrating a mental health program in the community because they have the power to bring together services from the health and non-health sectors.

3. Experience a process of sharing, validation, and problem-solving

Build support groups where communities can share experience of difficulties, identify common reactions, validate good stories of coping, and facilitate plans for action. Aside from the family where patients can gather strength and resilience, community is a single most important resource for Mental Health Interventions.

4. Involve the family in the program
As partners in providing care to persons with mental disorder, families also need some form of support. Family go through immense pressure in taking care of a patient, that’s why, services such as family education and training, support, and counseling on mental health should be available and accessible to them. Like support groups for the patients, support group where family members can get opportunity to share fears and learn lessons on coping should be established.

5. Harness Community Resilience on Mental Health
Build on the successes of the mental health programs in the communities. Look at the social and cultural practices on how people in communities overcome stress and deal with the challenges of life. Harnessing community resilience also requires human resource that can effectively mobilize community services and infrastructure for mental health.

6. Grab opportunities from crisis and disasters
When disaster strikes, leaders usually listen and responds to communal pain. There are opportunities for mental health programs to highlight emotional and social needs since disasters creates a context of shared grief and recovery.