Press release – 20 February 2013

Manila, Philippines – On February 22, Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Enrique Ona will meet researchers and academicians to listen to a set of policy recommendations based from health researches leaded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-University of the Philippines Manila. The event is the highlight of NIH’ 15th anniversary celebration at Century Park Hotel.

An endorser of the Reproductive Health and Sin Tax Bill, the NIH will lead policy recommendations that are critical to address issues in Kalusugan Pangkalahatan (KP), most specifically in KP’s third strategic thrust: the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Since KPs’ launch, NIH has supported DOH direction to universal health care by aligning its research agenda to help meet the challenges of the MDGs. According to Dr. Manuel B Agulto, Chancellor of UP Manila, this underscores NIH’ “unique position” as provider of technical expertise in health research and development to DOH and other sectors.

“Relevant research is a backbone of any policy, we as NIH would help put forth policies relevant to country’s need,” says Dr. Shelley Dela Vega, Director, Institute of Health Policy and Development Studies (IHPDS). IHPDS, one of the eleven institutes under NIH, lead this year’s anniversary.

As the Philippines move to 2015, the Aquino administration is pressured to meet Millennium Development Goals 4, 5, 6. Health policies based from evidences in research would strategize funding for better infrastructure, facilities, and human resources to serve the best doctors and health researchers of the country. With the recent approval of the 1 billion NIH building in 2013 UP budget, support to research and development on the health sector is expected to escalate.

NIH is instrumental in the passage of 2 laws –Republic Act 9288 or “The Newborn Screening Act of 2004” and Republic Act 9709 or “The Newborn Hearing Screening Act of 2009”. Both were signed into law by Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to protect the “future generation of our country.”

Along with DOH Secretary gracing the event are, UP System President Alfredo Pascual, and Dr. Manuel B. Agulto, UP Manila Chancellor.

The anniversary, is in conjunction with the 11th Metro Manila Health Research Development Consortium and the 4th Science and Technology Week of UP Manila.