WVHRDC finally inks MOA and bestows honors to recognized members

A collaboration between the Department of Science and Technology Region VI (DOST VI) and the Department of Health – Western Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH WV CHD) led to the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) and Recognition Activity of the Western Visayas Research and Development Consortium (WVHRDC).

The WVHRDC is one of the leading regional health consortia in the country.  It is the primary institution in the region, providing direction to health research institutions as it defines the priority areas in health research.  It also aims to advance the health research capabilities of our member institutions through collaboration and sharing of expertise and other resources.

The attendees of the activity are comprised of 23 member institutions represented by their heads of the institution and alternative representatives which included Aklan State University (ASU), University of San Agustin (USA), West Visayas State University Medical Center (WVSU-MC), The Medical City Iloilo (TMCI), Health Centrum, and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Region VI, among others.

WVHRDC Executive Director Dr. Alice Joan G. Ferrer stated that the Ceremonial MOA Signing and Recognition Activity are two of the many firsts of the WVHRDC, and that the DOH WV CHD and DOST VI’s initiative and support helped fulfill the desire of the consortium to acquire its own MOA.  Ferrer adds that recognizing the WVHRDC’s retired members and 2021 most active member institutions is an opportunity to appreciate its members’ extra effort and dedication and encourage others to actively participate in the consortium activities.

The WVHRDC awarded accolades to the following retired committee members: Dr. Ma. Stella G. Paspe, Research Ethics Committee (REC) member since 2010-2021; Prof. Severa Fe S. Katalbas, Research Utilization Committee (RUC) member since 2010-2021; Prof. Lerma L. Paris, RUC Chair since 2010-2019; Dr. Fred P. Guillergan, Research Management Committee (RMC) member since 2012-2021; and Dr. Emilia P. Monicimpo, WVHRDC Chair from January 1, 2021 to June 30, 2021.  Certificates of Appreciation were also given to Prof. Paolo G. Hilado, RUC chair, for two years (2020-2021) and Prof. Ma. Pilar S. Malata, REC Chair for four years (2015-2019) and member since 2003-2021.

Commendations were also given to Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH) as the Most Active Member Institution in 2021.  The second most active members of WVHRDC are the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) and Capiz State University.  While West Visayas State University and West Visayas State University-Medical Center are the third most active institutions.

The DOH WV CHD was also recognized for being the consortium’s Chair for 11 years, from 2010 to 2021.

In his closing speech, Engr. Rowen Gelonga, WVHRDC Co-Chair and DOST VI Regional Director encouraged and challenged the consortium to step up and explore other aspects of regional health research such as Biomedical Devices, ICT for Health, Genomic Studies, Natural Products, and Drug Discovery and Development while recognizing WVHRDC outputs.  Finally, he added that the MOA Signing signifies a re-start.  It renews the consortium’s agreement as they embark on a new level of health research and development.  It also exemplifies a re-start from the pandemic.  Though the consortium’s activities never stopped, the MOA Signing is the beginning of building a better WVHRDC. (JGagajena, DOST VI-KMU with reports from KSBernardino)