The Bicol Consortium for Health Research and Development (BCHRD) was established in 2007. Its primary objective is to institute/strengthen the system of collaboration in Bicol to develop and enhance the capacity of research institutions within the region as a strategy to improve the health conditions of the Bicolanos.
Its initial base institution in the Bicol Region was Ago Medical and Educational Center – Bicol Christian College of Medicine (AMEC-BCCM). The pioneer Chairperson of the BCHRD was Dr. Angelita Ago, President of AMEC-BCCM and Dr. Elma Cabrera as the pioneer consortium Director. From 2007-2011, the BCHRD has undertaken the Twinning Project with the University of the Philippines (UP)-Manila. The twinning Project utilized the “Big Brother Concept”, also termed as mentoring/coaching.
In 2012, the BCHRD was transferred to Bicol University (BU). With BU as the base agency, Dr. Fay Lea Patria Lauraya, President of the University became the 2nd chairperson of the consortium. Dr. Alma Banua was designated as the 2nd consortium Director. The overall management of the consortium is vested on the Regional Health Research Coordinating Council (RHRCC) as the consortium’s policymaking body. The RHRCC is composed of the thirteen heads of the member-agencies. Among the consortium members were as follows: Department of Science and Technology (DOST) as the lead agency, DOH-CHD(Bicol), Bicol University, Commission on Higher Education (CHED V), Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH), Ago Medical and Educational Center- Bicol Christian College of Medicine (AMEC-BCCM), Ateneo de Naga University (AdNU), Aquinas University of Legazpi (AUL), Catanduanes State University (CSU), Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges (CSPC), University of Nueva Caceres (UNC), University of Saint Anthony (USANT), Universidad de Santa Isabel (USI) and Partido State University (PSU).
In the same year four working committees were created which were as follows: Research and Development (R&D), Ethics Review, Capacity Building and Research Information Communication and Utilization. Each committee was led by a chairperson who is elected by the committee members. In 2013, the members of the consortium was increased to fifteen with the addition of Bicol Medical Center and Partido State University.
At present Dr. Arnulfo Mascariñas, is the chairperson of the BCHRD, having been instituted as the 8th president of BU in March 2015 and Dr. Alma Banua as the consortium Director.