The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) named the Angelo King Medical Research Center (AKMRC) of De La Salle-Health Sciences Institute (DLS-HSI) convenor of the newly established Regional Health Research and Development Committee for region IV (RHRDC-IV).

This move by the PCHRD is a recognition of the DLS-HSI's commitment to the development of health research in the region. According to Anicia Catameo, OIC of the Human Resource and Institution Division of PCHRD-DOST, DLSHSI was chosen to lead the health research consortium in the region because of it's strong track record in research that manifests its capability and expertise in conducting and managing research programs. " There is also strong institutional support for research undertakings [ in DLS-HSI ], " she adds. Further, for HSI Vice Chancellor for Research Dr. Melchor Frias, " This is an acknowledgement that HSI is a leader in health research in the region as evidenced by the awards and recognitions endowed on our researchers and our programs, " he emphasizes.

But at the same time, this is also a big responsibilty for DLS-HSI. As convenor, the Research Division of DLS-HSI will perform the following functions: 1.) Establish an inventory of research resources in the region; 2.) Serve as a regional repository of research information (HERDIN NeON regional hub); 3.) Assist in updating, disseminating, and uptake of the regional, zonal, and national health research agenda; 4.) Promote research collaboration within and among institutions in the region doing health research and ensure the creation of a sustainable research community; 5.) Facilitate the holding of research dialogues, fora and other research utilization activities; and 6.) Assist in building the research capacities of regional institutions, including proposal development and resource mobilization.

Beside HSI, the other institution members of the RHRDC-IV consortia are UP Los Baňos, De La Salle University-Dasmariňas, De La Salle-Lipa, University of Perpetual Help System-Laguna, Batangas Regional Hospital and their government counterparts, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED)- Southern Tagalog, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region IV, and the Center for Health and Development (CHD) Region IV of the Department of Health.

On July 19, the representatives from the research institutions in region IV came to HSI to hold an organizational meeting where Ms. Catameo and Dr. Jaime Montoya, the executive director of the PCHRD oriented them on the goals and other terms of reference for the RHRDC and the Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) on whose vision and mission the concept of forming RHRDC’s is anchored.

With this tall responsibility endowed on DLS-HSI as convenor, Dr. Frias and the DLS-HSI research team, in coordination with the other members of the region IV consortia, have underlined programs that the RHRDC-Region IV will pursue to achieve their health research agenda for the region. These include 1.) Identify priority regional health problems amenable to research, 2.) Identify and implement priority research programs and projects targeting identified priority health problems, 3.) Encourage resource sharing among institutions in the region for mutual development, 4.) Establish mechanism for developing and/or strengthening human resource capabilities for health research, 5.) Develop strategies to encourage and promote the utilization of research results in the region, and 6.) Develop mechanisms and implement strategies to ensure the long-term viability of the RHRDC-Region IV.

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