DOST 02 Director Sancho A. Mabborang, Chairperson of Cagayan Valley Health Research and Development Consortium (CVHRDC) and the Regional Gender and Development Committee (RGDC), encouraged members of the health consortium to consider engaging into researches related to gender issues during the conduct of CVHRDC 2nd Quarter Meeting at ISU-Cauayan.

Moreover, he highlighted the harmonized call for proposals to all areas of research (Health, Agriculture and Engineering). Also, he announced that the Tuklas Lunas Development Center will be launched on August and he is expecting strengthened partnership among regional line agencies and institutions in coming up with health R&D thru this center.

Meanwhile, the consortium Chairperson requested representatives fro Southern Isabela General Hospital (SIGH), Philippine Drug and Enforcement Agency (PDEA), and Region II Trauma and Medical Center (RIITMC) to share their institution's health research thrusts and to identify areas where the consortium may provide assistance to raise the bar of health researches conducted in the region.


The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCHRD) funds a research which aims to develop a diagnostic kit for the detection of drug resistant Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Once made available in the market, this breakthrough technology will create a positive impact on the lives of people living with HIV not only in the Philippines but around the world.

“Having a test kit that will detect the resistance of HIV to drugs at the start of medical care allows doctors to decide on the best treatment options for their patients,” explained Dr. Edsel Salvaña, Project Leader from the University of the Philippines National Institutes of Health (UPNIH) in the recent installment of the Talakayang HeaRTBeat series organized by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on 21 May 2019 at the Luxent Hotel, Quezon City.

As explained by Dr. Salvaña, the problem with HIV is it can become resistant to medication even at the start of treatment. This means some drugs may not work on the patient. Knowing the resistance of HIV to drugs is very crucial especially for our country where there is only a limited number of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) available.

Another challenge in the process of HIV diagnosis is the availability of only two organizations in the country that can test for the virus – namely the UPNIH and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) – it takes a long time to get the results, and the cost of the test itself is quite expensive.

The research project of Dr. Salvaña focuses on the use of an automated DNA sequencing tool that can potentially help diagnose HIV resistant cases faster and at a lower cost. The ultimate goal is to produce a kit that is accessible, affordable, and world-class possibly by 2023.  “There is no cure yet (for HIV). Kung masyadong mahal (yung tools), edi ibababa natin yung cost para we can also take care of the Filipino patients,” he stressed.

As of the latest, 42 HIV cases were said to be reported daily in the Philippines, which is higher than the data recorded in the same period last year.

Source: Macan J. (30 May 2019). DOST-PCHRD supports development of a more affordable, accessible HIV Drug Resistance Diagnostic Tool. Retrieved from:


Did you know that all women, regardless of age, race, and lifestyle, are at risk of cervical cancer? But did you also know that it is highly preventable and curable?

What is cervical cancer?

Cervical cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), a virus transmitted through sexual activities. The probability of a woman acquiring the virus in her lifetime is at 75-80%; however, the virus does not always develop into cancer. Smoking, having multiple sexual partners, early sexual activity, long-term use of oral contraception, a weak immune system, and the history of cervical cancer within the family increase the risk of the virus developing into cancer.

The symptoms of the disease in its late stages include vaginal bleeding beyond the menstruation period, unpleasant vaginal discharge, and abdominal pain or swelling.

How do I prevent cervical cancer?

Despite being one of the most preventable and curable types of cancer, the Philippines loses about 3,800 women to cervical cancer yearly. The key to cervical cancer prevention is early detection. It was only in 2003 when the campaign for cervical cancer awareness and prevention was strengthened. Through Proclamation no. 368, May was declared the official cervical cancer awareness month. The campaign eventually carried the slogan “Babae, Mahalaga ka,” which encouraged Filipinas to get checked regularly through free cervical cancer screenings. When detected in its early stage, cervical cancer is still curable.

Several methods can be used for screenings such as the VIA (visual inspection using acetic acid) and pap smear. According to a study by the University of the Philippines- Department of Health Cervical Cancer Screening Health Operations Research Project, the VIA was found to be the most effective and cost-effective screening method. For preventative measures, HPV vaccines are available and may be given to patients as young as 9 years old. The effect of the vaccine lasts a lifetime and has been proven to be safe for all.

Despite these alternatives, cervical cancer is the 2nd most common cancers among Filipinas.

Several studies have been done about the cervical cancer in the Philippines and may be found in the Health Research and Development Information Network (HERDIN) such as the “Epidemiology, prevention and treatment of cervical cancer in the Philippines,” “Delineation of an appropriate and replicable cervical cancer screening program for Filipino women,” and “Knowledge and attitudes of female students on Pap Smear for diagnosis of cervical cancer, Cebu Institute of Medicine SY 2013-2014.” Aside from studies on cervical cancer, HERDIN has an array of more than 50,000 studies in other areas of health. HERDIN is an electronic database of both published and unpublished studies related to health research.

Source: Bacarra A. (2019, May 22). Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. What you need to know.Retrieved from :



Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) is an independent administrative institution which aims to promote international cooperation in diverse fields of science. The Society carries out programs for overseas researchers to conduct collaborative research, discussions, and opinion exchanges with researchers in Japan. 

Details and application guidelines are available at

Source: DOST PCHRD. May 06, 2019. Call for Application: 2019 JSPS International Fellowship for Research in Japan. Retrieved from:

The cream of the crop in the Philippine scientific, creative, and research circles were awarded in the 2019 IP Convergence forum on Friday, in recognition of their use of the intellectual property system in contributing to the sciences and arts. 

IPOPHL lauded six individuals and one business in the  2019 IP Convergence Forum, all of which have filed for intellectual property as they’ve made ground-breaking work in their fields. 

IPOPHL began its awards and recognition program in the first IP Convergence Forum in 2018, launching three award categories: Gawad Yamang Isip, IP Champions League,  and Special Citations.

the Gawad Yamang Isip for Science and Technology  (Agham at Teknolohiya) is awarded to famed Filipino woman biochemist Dr. Lourdes Cruz. Dr. Cruz’s isolation and characterisation of a venom called conotoxin (from marine cone snails) was key to improvement of the substance as a biochemical probe for testing brain behavior. 

Another great Filipino mind IPOPHL recognized for Agham and Teknolohiya was Dr. Ramon Barba, a world-renowned scientists whose invention of flower induction in mangos and pineapples revolutionised their fruit production. Dr. Barba’s flower induction method made possible the availability of mangoes the whole year-round.

Receiving the Gawad Yamang Isip for Arts and Literature (Sining at Panitikan) is Ramon Magsaysay Awardee, Ligaya Fernando-Amilbangsa. Her promotion of the pangalay dance of the Sulu archipelago, as well as her studies on Muslim culture, keeps alive the indigenous arts of Southern Philippines.

A legend in the Philippine fashion scene, Beatriz “Patis” P. Tesoro was given the Gawad Yamang Isip - Kagamitan at Moda for her long-standing advocacy to elevate local fabrics (particularly the pina cloth) to the global stage and mainstream traditional Filipino garb to contemporary fashion.  

National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose can add the Gawad Yamang Isip sa Sining at Panitikan to his numerous accolades, given for his five decades of engaging he Filipino consciousness through socially-relevant works of literature.

For being a champion of accessibility of affordable medicine, while deftly using trademark as a strategic business tool, the Generics Pharmacy - the largest network of drugstores in the country - was awarded the Gawad Yamang Isip for Business (Negosyo). 

Finally, garnering the coveted Intellectual Property Champions League Award is none other than technology innovator, Silicon Valley engineer - “the Philippines’ Bill Gates”-   Diosdado “Dado” Banatao. Mr. Banatao’s invaluable invention of a more efficient way of linking computers by simplifying the design with fewer chips, is a technology found in most computers today.

Twenty-six individuals and institutions were given the IPOPHL Special Citation Awards, given to individuals and institutions across sectors:  enforcement agencies , media practitioners, businesses, and universities. 

About IPOPHL’s Awards and Recognition Program

Gawad Yamang Isip recognises Filipinos who have shown distinct ingenuity and talent in their specific fields, using the IP system in the process. 

Champions League, on the other hand, are given for individual or institutional contributions that have long-term, beneficial effect to the IPR environment and IP system in the Philippines.

IPOPHL Special Citations are given to prolific users of the IP system - ‘record-breakers’ in their IP-related work, such as enforcement agencies who have seized significant amounts of counterfeit goods, media practitioners who have extensively covered IP news, and institutions and individuals who have filed the most number of IP.



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