To ensure adherence to the universal principles for the protection of human participants in research, the Regional Health Research and Development Consortium XI (RHRDC XI) facilitated two simultaneous trainings in Research Ethics namely, Basic Research Ethics Training and Standard Operating Procedures Workshop. These are essential trainings for those institutions applying for accreditation to the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB).

For Research Ethics Committees (REC) to do good and competent review, the REC members, including medical practitioners, faculty, advisers, and researchers in Davao region dedicated their two-day presence to the Basic Research Ethics Training. This is in compliance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, WHO International Guidelines, the 2017 National Ethical Guidelines for Health and Health-related Research and other related national and international guidelines to protect the dignity, welfare and rights of human participants in research. The training was conducted by Dr. Sonia E. Bongala of Makati Medical Center and Dr. Carl Abelardo of the University of the Philippines Manila. Not only the trainers did all the speaking, but the attendees actively participated through questions for clarity on the implementation of ethics review in their institution, expressing their experiences from their own RECs and even gave their best performance during the role-playing session.

In order to fulfill the standards and accreditation requirements set by PHREB, trainings such as the Basic Research Ethics and other continuing or advance ethics review training must be complied by all Research Ethics Committees. Thus, the Regional Health Research and Development Consortium XI conducts annual trainings on ethics review to support its member-institutions and capacitate them in establishing a standard research ethics committee. 

The Regional Health Research and Development Consortium XI (RHRDC XI) together with the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB) conducted the Research Ethics Committee Standard Operating Procedure Workshop last July 16-17, 2018. This workshop aimed to help develop the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of the research ethics committees (RECs) for quality assurance.

Prior to the training, the seven participating institutions were asked to submit a copy of their draft SOP for review of the PHREB Standards and Accreditation Committee. This then served as working papers of the participants during the training. Dr. Marita Reyes and Dr. Rhodora Estacio of PHREB reviewed each SOP submitted and facilitated the two-day workshop. After every lecture, the participants were given time to revise their respective SOPs and present it for commenting.

At the end of the training, Dr. Reyes hoped that the participants will apply what they learned to their respective REC and revised their SOPs for it to be ready for accreditation. She also emphasized that the committee should not be an entity that a researcher will dislike due to long review process and criticism. The committee should be a group a researcher will be willing to undergo the review because of the constructive comments that ensures the quality of his/her paper. The participants thanked the speakers for the valuable inputs. They expressed that they learned a lot of practical applications, ideas and concepts which they can apply to their respective REC.

The training was conducted in support of RHRDC XI to the strong implementation of Republic Act No. 10532 and CHED Memorandum 001 series of 2015. Currently, universities, colleges and hospitals in Region 11 slowly implement and establish their respective research ethics committees.

Important References:

PHREB Workbook for Developing Standard Operating Procedures can be downloaded HERE.

PHREB National Ethical Guidelines for Health and Health-Related Research 2017 can be downloaded HERE.

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