University of Philippines Manila

UP Manila’s S&T Week Commences with a Focus on Health Research and Innovation

The 19th Science and Technology (S&T) Week, organized by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, held its opening ceremony on November 28, 2023 as a headliner for a week-long celebration dedicated to the advancements, innovations, and discoveries in the field of science and technology. This year’s theme, “Agap Agham IV: Harmonizing Research towards Healthy Filipinos,” sets the tone for the activities  from November 28 to December 2, 2023.

The primary objective of this week-long celebration was to foster collaborative research efforts within the university. The focus was on aligning research initiatives and resources to amplify the impact on the health and overall well-being of the Filipino population.

In his remarks, Dr. Ricardo M. Manalastas Jr., Director of the Research Management and Translation Office of the OVCR and this year’s S&T Week Chair, expressed enthusiasm for the extensive lineup of activities. He emphasized the event’s significance, stating, “We lined up almost a week-long, actually a four-day celebration of the Science and Technology Week, highlighting the most recent, relevant, and helpful researches that have been undertaken in UP Manila.”

UP Manila Chancellor Dr. Michael L. Tee delivered an inspiring message, emphasizing the profound relevance of the theme particularly in the current times. Dr. Tee underscored the importance of collaboration among researchers and the profound impact of their work on society, stating that “This fora is one way of ensuring that we are in harmony. This fora is for researchers to share our work. We can work with each other in a collaborative manner so that we can have a better output [which] is useful for our society, for the Filipino people.”

The event’s sessions, hosted at the Discovery & Innovation Hub, commenced with a focus on “Biomedical Innovation Towards Healthy Filipinos.” The morning session, hosted by the UP-SIBOL and the College of Allied Medical Professions, featured presentations on cutting-edge research. 

Dr. Edward H. Wang, Director of the Office of Research Integrity (ORI), highlighted the need for locally-made biomedical and biotechnology devices. Other impactful presentations in the morning session included the following:

Asst. Prof. Charlemaine Deane Perez: Design, Development, and Implementation of a Tailored, Integrated, and Secured Electronic Health Records System for Interprofessional Clinic- and Community-based Service Programs.

Asst. Prof. Peñafrancia E. Ching and Engr. Anjenina U. Durana: Appropriate and Affordable Intermediate Wheelchair for Filipinos: Initial Conceptual Design and Product Development.

Engineers from UP SIBOL: Engr. Ruel Cadubla, Engr. Jason Pechardo, and Dr. Miguel Aljibe discussed innovations and healthcare through human-machine collaboration, engineering for care with additive manufacturing, and the multiple roles of engineering and healthcare engagement. Post-presentation, the audience had the opportunity to tour the UP Sibol office guided by the speakers.

Dr. Nathaniel S. Orillaza Jr., Project Member of the UP-SIBOL, stated, “[Regarding] UP Manila as an institution, we know that we’ve never been short of talents and interesting ideas. Don’t be shy; bring out those ideas. We really need more collaborators. We need more people interested and we at the UP Manila Discovery and Innovation Hub are here to listen and to talk, so we can all collaborate and come up with really amazing products.”

The afternoon sessions, organized by the National Teacher Training Center for the Health Professions (NTTCHP) and the College of Pharmacy, centered around the theme: “A Multifaceted Approach to Universal Health Care Coverage and Pharmaceutical Advancements.” Prof. Erlyn Sana, the session chair, provided insights into studies supporting the implementation of the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act. The topics included the following:

Dr. Kevin T. Crispino: Disaster Risk Reduction and Management in Health (DRRM-H) Implementation in Selected Local Government Units (LGU) in the Philippines: Case Studies.

Dr. Lee Daniel E. Suelan: TB-DOTS Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic in South Cotabato Province, Philippines: A Retrospective Study.

Ms. Iris Christine M. Torralba: Factors that Affected the Implementation of the PinasLakas Campaign Promoting COVID-19 1st Booster Vaccination in Northern Mindanao.

Mr. Clint Gil S. Ildefonso: Participation of Barangay Health Worker Officials as On-the-Ground Health Education and Promotions Officers in the Capability Building Program of the Cordillera Administrative Region.

Ms. Claire D. Pastor: Development of Online Training for Child Advocates.

Mr. Joemarie C. Tunguia: An Analysis of the Implementation of the Philhealth KONSULTA Package in the Province of Guimaras.

Ms. Charita O. Ouano: Universal Health Care Implementation in Zamboanga del Norte: Looking into the Province-wide DRRM-H System Integration.

Asst. Prof. Frances Lois U. Ngo: Efficiency and Effectiveness of Earmarking for Public Health in the Philippines.

Asst. Prof. Robertson D.G. Rivera: Network Pharmacology and Molecular Docking in Drug Discovery.

In his closing remarks, Dean Francis R. Capule of the College of Pharmacy expressed his sincere gratitude for the insightful presentations and underscored the importance of strengthening public health competencies within the university curriculum. He encouraged the participants to carry forward valuable insights and stay engaged in research initiatives to drive progress in healthcare. #

Charmaine A. Lingdas

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