On 23-25 October 2019, The Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) together with the Zamboanga Consortium for Health Research and Development (ZCHRD) conducted an Institutional visit among its member institution namely JH Cerilles State College and Saint Columban College in Pagadian City, Zamboanga Del Sur; and MSU-Buug Campus, Zamboanga Sibugay Province.

The visit aims to inform member institutions of what PCHRD is showcasing especially its programs, services, projects and priority activities. and to clear out the common misconception that the conduct of health research is limited to Medical Doctors, Health Professionals, and other Allied Health Workers, rather it can also be conducted by Researchers in general who has health-research studies or studies that has a health component.

Ms. Marie Jeanne Berroya, Senior Science Research Specialist of PCHRD and Regional Project Officer of ZCHRD pointed out the importance of acquiring research clearances before funding and implementation of a research study. This includes Technical Clearance to ensure the technical and scientific soundness of the research study. For research studies involving human participants, an Ethical clearance, issued by an accredited Research Ethics Committee is a must as mandated by the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board. Special clearance may also be necessary such as the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) clearance for papers involving Indigenous People or Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICC); Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) clearance for studies that involve animals; and Gratuitous Permit and Biosafety Clearance.

Mr. Halid Tamano, Science Research Specialist I, presented ZCHRD as the Regional Health Research and Development Consortium for the Zamboanga Peninsula and Isabela City, Basilan. He stressed the duties and responsibilities as well as the benefits of Consortium Member Institutions, which includes but are not limited to resource sharing, research mentoring, capacity building activities, and research funding.

Ms. Angeline Hipolito. Project Assistant-II, of DOST IX, presented and encouraged researchers to avail of funding offered by DOST IX and DOH IX for research proposals.  The Regional Research Fund (RRF) provided by the PCHRD is a fund intended for budding researchers to encourage them to be actively involved in health research activities without having to compete with more experienced researchers, at the same time a stepping stone to a larger scale of research project that may be funded by DOH, CHED, and other national and international funding agencies. On the other hand, the Department of Health – Health System Research Fund (DOH-HSRF) Initiative provides support for research projects in Region IX targeting its priority areas on Leadership and Governance, Service Delivery, Information System, Health Human Resource, Access to Medicine and Health Financing. Both funding source grants research projects with a budgetary requirement of up to 500,000.00php. Regular employees and medical residents with the supervision of their respective departments of a ZCHRD member institution are qualified to avail of the funds.