The Central Luzon Health Research and Development Consortium (CLHRDC) recently participated in the 11th Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) week held on August 24-25, 2017 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City. This year’s celebration focused on the theme, “Research Innovations in Health: Empowering and Transforming Communities,” to highlight the challenges and roles of health research in empowering and improving the health status of Filipinos especially those living in marginalized communities. 


As part of the celebration, plenary and parallel sessions were held to address different topics such as Drug Addiction and Mental Health, Islands of Wealth and Wellness, The Health of Marawi and the Contributed Papers such as Alternative Gender-Aware Indices for Measuring Poverty: Implications for HealthCare for the Poor and Innovative Strategy Towards Sustainable Control and Elimination of Schistosomiasis in the Philippines.


The celebration also served as venue to showcase and recognized exemplary health researches done by students and professional researchers from different regions through oral and poster presentations. Dr. Jacqueline V. Bagunu of Pampanga State Agricultural University, bagged  3rd place in the poster exhibit contest with her study entitled: “Isolation and Molecular Identification of Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) from Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) as Potential Pathogen Antagonist”, while Ms. Ivy Joyce A. Buan of Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology, presented her study: “Computational Study of Bioactive Components of Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum linn.), Luyang Dilaw (Curcuma longa linn.), and Lagundi (Vitex negundo) as Inhibitor against Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV-1) in oral research category.


The CLHRDC- Ethics Review Committee was also awarded with a Level 1 accreditation by the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB), which permits it to review research proposals that have minimal risk to participants. Other CLHRDC member institutions like Tarlac State University also received their Level 1 accreditation while Angeles University Foundation’s Level 3 license was renewed which allows them to review research proposals involving clinical trials. In addition to this, CLHRDC was also recognized for having the most updated official website among the health consortia.


With these milestones, CLHRDC is inspired all the more to deliver quality health-related researches as it continues to exert more of its capabilities to improve and encourage stronger collaborative health research projects that will improve the general health status of people and communities in Region 3. 



  CLHRDC representatives, Dr. Jean N. Guillasper and Mr. Wilfredo F. SIbal (3rd and 4th from left, respectively), accept the Consortium’s certificate

of accreditation Level 1 from the PHREB




To strengthen and enhance the research capacity of its member- institutions, the Central Luzon Health Research and Development Consortium (CLHRDC) thru its Capacity Building Committee (CBC) recently conducted a Research Proposal Writeshop on Drug Discovery and Development and Biomedical Devices Development last June 28-29, 2017 at Imerex Plaza Hotel in Angeles City.


Together with the CLHRDC- Research Management Committee (RMC), the activity was aimed at improving the quality and productivity of health-related research endeavors in Region III through the submission of quality research proposals for funding. It also served as a venue to address issues usually encountered during the review of submitted research proposals such as misaligned objectives as well as to discuss new trends in writing research proposals like the use of Mendeley database as a reference manager tool. Dr. Reynaldo Bundalian Jr., Chair of CLHRDC-Research Management Committee, spearheaded the 2-day training together with Dr. Bella G. Panlilio, Chair of CLHRDC-CBC. Other resource persons were Dr. Al D. Biag of Holy Angel University, Dr. Neil C. Tanquilut of Pampanga State Agricultural University, and Mr. Wilfredo F. Sibal of Department of Science and Technology III who shared their experiences and best practices in research proposal writing.


As a major output of the said activity, the participants were requested to prepare and present their respective draft proposals for evaluation. 14 proposals were submitted, composed of 12 proposals for drug discovery and another 2 for biomedical devices. Through this activity, CLHRDC hopes to encourage its member institutions to submit more research proposals for funding.


This activity was also followed two weeks later by the Basic Research Ethics Training which took place last  July 12-13, 2017, also at Imerex Plaza Hotel, Angeles City.  Dr. Ricardo M. Manalastas and Dr. Evangeline O. Santos of Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB) spearheaded the 2-day training. It was attended by 28 participants from 13 institutions composed of members of their respective Institutional Ethics Review Committees (IERCs). The training was intended to capacitate participants in evaluating research proposals that involve human or animal subjects and the importance of adhering ethical norms in research.



Fig. 1 The participants from different member institutions, CLHRDC Secretariat and Dr. Reynaldo Bundalian Jr. 

last Research Proposal Writeshop on Drug Discovery and Biomedical Devices Development



   Fig. 2 The participants last Basic Research Ethics Training with Dr. Ricardo M. Manalastas, Dr. Evangeline

O. Santos and Dr. Angelica Francisco of Philippine Health Research Ethics Booad (PHREB).

12 research areas that seeks to address health-related concerns in Central Luzon were identified during a consultation workshop spearheaded by Central Luzon Health Research and Development Consortium (CLHRDC) last April 27-28,2017 in Angeles City.

Together with the Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS), the activity was facilitated by the Alliance for Improving Health Outcomes (AIHO), a non-stock, non-profit, public health consulting firm that was commissioned by the PCHRD-DOST to assist regional health R&D consortium in coming up their respective regional R&D agenda. Following the National Guidelines for Health Research Prioritization developed by the PNHRS, workshop participants were able to identify the following Health Research Priorities during the consultation:


1.Nutrition and Safety

7.  Communicable Diseases (STI, HIV and AIDS, TB, vector-borne disease and other emerging and reemerging disease)


2. Maternal and Child Health

8.  Disaster Risk Reduction Management for Health


3. Technology and Innovations for Health

9.  Diseases of Urbanization and Industrialization (Environmental Health, Mental Health)


4. Sexual and Reproductive Health (e.g adolescent)


10. Health of Aging Population

5. Health Service Delivery and Health Workforce


11. Health Research Governance


6. Financial Risk Protection

12. Indigenous People's Health

The draft document which will later become the Regional Unified Health Research Agenda was formulated with inputs from multi-sectoral participants from government agencies like Department of Health RO3, Department of Science and Technology III, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, Provincial Health Office and the Commission on Population Region III, Higher Education Institutions like Angeles University Foundation, Republic Central Colleges, University of the Assumption, Ramon Magsaysay Technological University, Wesleyan University, Bulacan State University and Pampanga State Agricultural University, as well as Government Hospitals such as Mariveles Mental Hospital, and other organizations such as Integrated Midwives’ Association of the Philippines and Pampanga Medical Society.


Similar consultation workshops were also held in the different regions of the country. The consolidated output from these consultations will be incorporated into the National Unified Health Research Agenda (NUHRA) and will be launched in the upcoming PNHRS Week Celebrations in August 2017 at the PICC. It will also be disseminated through newsletters, publications, organizations’ official websites and a formal document that will be sent to all the stakeholders. It is envisioned to be monitored and revisited every two (2) years for the progress and status of the set priorities.


Participants from different institutions with the AIHO members


The Central Luzon Health Research and Development Consortium (CLHRDC) in partnership with the Department of Health RO3 successfully conducted the 1st Central Luzon Health Research Forum with the theme, “Translational Research: Addressing Health Inequities in Central Luzon” last April 25-26, 2017 at Subic Bay Travelers Hotel, Subic Freeport Zone. The forum provided a platform to link institutions engaged in or with interest in health research activities to explore ideas on topics that impact regional as well as national needs.

Dr. Julius Caesar V. Sicat, Regional Director of DOST III and Chairman of CLHRDC, who was also a member of the panel of evaluators stressed the need to align health research projects with the 10- point development agenda of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, adding that proposals geared towards the priority areas identified in the National Unified Health Research Agenda (NUHRA) has better chances of being approved for funding. “We should be thinking of the research output as something that will benefit not only the people we serve but also our institutions, our families and ourselves. The products of our minds should be economically viable, sustainable and beneficial”, Dr. Sicat added. He also announced that the Region III will be hosting the Philippine National Health Research System Week next year.

Researchers from higher education institutions, local government units, public and private hospitals participated in the competing and non-competing categories. In addition, authors of published research papers presented their studies and shared their experience in publishing in reputable journals. Researches presented ranged from health technology development, health financing, health service delivery and socio-environmental health concerns.

The following were declared winners in the professional and student categories. The 1st and 2nd placers in both categories will represent Region III in the upcoming Philippine National Health Research Systems (PNHRS) Week Celebration in August.

Oral Research Presentation (Professional Category)

1st place – Ivy Joyce A. Buan and Danilet Vi M. Mendoza (NEUST)

Computational Study of Bioactive Components of Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum linn.), Luyang Dilaw (Curcuma longa linn.) and Lagundi (Vitex negundo) as Inhibitor against Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV-1)


2nd place – Jacqueline V. Bagunu, et al. (PSAU)            

Isolation and Molecular Identification of Lactic Acid bacteria (LAB) from Nile Tilapia (Oreo-chromis niloticus) as Potential Pathogen Antagonist


3rd place – Kay Ann J. Tongol, et al. (WUP)

Assessment of the Antioxidant and Cholesterol- Lowering Activity of Artocarpus ovatus Blanco (Moraceae) Leaf Extract


                   Geraldine C. Sanchez, et al. (PSAU)

Hypocholesterolemic Effects of ICRISAT-bred Pigeon pea Dried Leaves fed in White Mice Fed with High Cholesterol Diet


Oral Research Presentation (Student Category)

1st place – Aileen A. Gutierrez, et al. (AUF)

Determining the Anti-angiogenic and Cytotoxic Activity of the Crude Ethanolic Extract from Saccharum spontaneum linn (Talahib) on Duck Eggs and Human Breast Cancer Cells Lines (MCF7)


2nd place - Kayeslyn Jill F. Sanchez, et al. (AUF)

The Effectiveness of Short Messaging Service (SMS) as a Strategy to Improve Adherence to TB Service in Angeles City: A Randomized Control Study


3rd place - Ruiza U. Ismael, et al. (AUF)

In Vitro Cytotoxicity of Allamandra Cathartica L. Leaf Ethanol extract against A549 Human Lung Adenocarcinoma


Aside from the forum, the event also served as an avenue to strengthen linkages among public and private research institutions in Central Luzon.

CLHRDC is committed in generating health- related researchers to help improve the health conditions of the people in Central Luzon and will continue its effort to improve and encourage more collaborative health research projects in Region III.



Mr. Kim Vergel Cudia of Angeles University Foundation received their award as 3rd place in the Oral Research Presentation (Student Category) for their project.