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The 1st Regional Health Research Council Meeting of BCHRD was held on September 4, 2012, at the BU-GASS Legazpi City.  It was attended by the heads of the member-agencies of BCHRD, consortium Chair President Fay Lea Patria Lauraya, consortium Director Dr. Alma Banua, and no less than PCHRD Executive Director Jaime Montoya.

During his message Director Montoya discussed the role of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) as the Heart and Soul of the Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS), and that its mission is to make life better for the Filipinos through health research. Through the PCHRD health research consortia nationwide were established, to be capacitated institutions in research, and to serve as research hubs. He emphasized that the best people to undertake research are those who know their needs and who will benefit from the results of their researches.

Among the agenda were the following: Matters for Approval including 1) Proposed BCHRD Logo; 2) Policy matters (Rotation of special committee meetings and Criteria for acceptance of  additional members) and  Annual membership fee, and  Matters for Information including 1) Change in the schedule of project operations, 2) Present committee members, 3) Status of BCHRD Activities, and  4) Signing of MOA.

There are a total of thirteen member agencies within the consortium, duly represented by the following participants of the council meeting: Engr. Seth Baranddon of Camarine Sur Polythecnic College, Luzviminda de Villa of University of Saint Anthony, Carmelita Baylon and Dr. Yolanda Castroverded of University of Nueva Caceres, Fr. Ernesto Arceo of Aquinas University, Dr. Salvacion Macinas and Dr. Marlyn Daguno of Bicol Regional Teaching and Training Hospital, Dr. Marla Litam of Bicol Medical Center, Director Tomas Briñas of DOST RV, Dr. Teresa de Alban of CHED RV, Ms. Marie Jean Berroya and Ms. Carina Rebulanan of PCHRD.

Dr. Jaime Montoya giving a message, and focusing on the importance of the role of BCHRD in research, particularly on research priorities-NUHRA.

The Bicol Consortium for Health Research and Development (BCHRD) was established by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), in order to make life better for the Bicolanos through health research.  It was organized here Region V in 2007 where Ago Medical and Educational Center became its first base agency.

By the virtue of the Memorandum of Agreement between the PCHRD and DOST and Bicol University (BU), the BCHRD is now based in BU , Legaspi City, with Dr. Fay Lea Patria Lauraya, President of Bicol University as the Chairperson and Dr. Alma Banua as the consortium Director.

The primary objective of BCHRD is to institute/strengthen the system of collaboration in Bicol to develop and enhance capacity of research institutions within the region which has interest and engage in health and related researches, as a strategy to improve the health conditions of the Bicolanos.

This 2012, the BCHRD had thirteen members, comprised of the lead agencies and regular members. The lead agencies are: Department of Science and Technology, Department of Health and Commission on Higher Education and the regular members are: Ago Medical and Educational Center, Ateneo de Naga University, Aquinas University, Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital, Bicol University, Universidad de Sta Isabel, University of Nueva Caceres, and University of Saint Anthony   and  an additional  two members institutions: Bicol Medical Center and  Partido State University

It has four committees, which shall backstop the Consortium Director by performing their assigned functions. These committees are the:  Research and Development, with Dr. Marlyn Daguno as Chair, Ethics Review Committee, with Ms. Sandy Lasa as Chair, Capacity Building Committee, with Ms. Laarni Salcedo as Chair and Research Information, Communication and Utilization Committee, with Dr. Rafaelita Lucena as Chair.

The consortium had conducted the following activities for 2012: 1) Inventory of Health and Health Related researches, researchers and facilities; 2) Agenda Setting and Strategic Planning; 3) Basic Ethics Training, 4) Research proposal Writeshop and 5)  HERDIN training.

By 2013, it will continue to pursue its Vision to be a nationally recognized prime mover of excellent health and health-related researches responsive to the needs of the Bicolanos towards improved quality of life.

The consortium have four committees, the respective chairpersons were elected during the 1st Committee Meeting

DOST, The National Telehealth Center and UP-Manila


introduces RxBox2 in Bicol

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in cooperation with the National Telehealth Center (NTHC), University of the Philippines (UP)-Manila, The Health Sciences Center and National Institutes of Health is pursuing the roll-out of RxBox2 in the Bicol Region.

            On 19 February 2014, a teleconference via Skype (the third in the country) was conducted with DOST, DOH and PhilHealth at DOST V, Rawis, Legazpi City, that served as brainstorming/discussion on project implementation for the agencies concerned. It was participated in by representatives, Dr. Gladys Escote, Medical Specialist I, Regulatory, Licensing and Enforcement Division, DOH-CHD Bicol; Dr. Myrna Suratos, Medical Specialist III, PhilHealth V; Dr. Pilita O. Lucena, Senior Science Research Specialist, DOST V in behalf of Dir. Tomas B. Briñas, Regional Director, DOST V; Dr. Kristine Mae Magtubo, Research Associate/RxBox2 Project Manager, NTHC and Ms. Alyssa Marie Evangelista, Nurse, NTHC and DOST V support staff, Engr. Sandro Noguera, Ms. Nicole Anne Bejo and Mr. Francis Paul John Castrence.

            RxBox2 is a biomedical telemedicine device capable of capturing physiologic signals such as heart rate and blood pressure, and transmitting them to an electronic medical record system where the data can be viewed from a remote location. Implemented in November 2011, this DOST-funded project has a Research and Development (R & D) component whose significant result captures DOST’s priority on its health initiative “No one is left behind especially the poor”. The project is supportive to the Department of Health (DOH)’s mandate for “Kalusugan Pangkalahatan” (Universal Health Care). With main focus on Maternal and Child Health Care. That is also specified in the R & D Agenda of the Bicol Consortium for Health Research and Development (BCHRD), an S & T consortium supervised by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) based at Bicol University, Legazpi City.

            The project has produced one hundred (100) devices for development that needs volunteers [with sixty three (63) slots available], preferred one (1) volunteer for every congressional district in the region. A volunteer who possesses computer knowledge/skill may apply in this undertaking. He/she must submit a letter of intent to be endorsed by the Rural Health Unit (RHU)/DOH. As to the timetable, DOH shall send the list of identified RHUs to NHTC on the second week of March 2014. A training for the volunteers is scheduled in May 2014.


At present, the RxBox2 device is undergoing development for the national scale-up to improve health service deliveries in remote areas particularly for mothers, newborns and patients with chronic diseases. NTHC is hopeful that this project to end in September 2014 can be extended until 2015 and onward considering the benefits to be derived by people most especially the pregnant and the sick in the identified municipalities. (Dr. P.O. Lucena, DOST V)


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