MALAYBALAY CITY (04 September 2020) The Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB) granted Level 1 accreditation to the Bukidnon State University Research Ethics Committee (REC) on September 2, 2020. The university REC becomes the first in Northern Mindanao to have earned accreditation from the board.
With this, the PHREB recognizes that BukSU REC conforms to the standards of Philippine Council for Health Research and Development as it “demonstrates sufficient competency, functionality and efficiency in ethical review, adherence to a set of appropriate standard operating procedures and adequacy in terms of administrative support as shown by an assigned office with standard equipment, a budget that supports honoraria for and training of REC members.”
PHREB is the national policy making body in health research ethics in the country. It was created under DOST Special Order No. 091 s. 2006, as stipulated in Sec. 12 of the Philippine National Health Research System Act of 2013 (RA 10532).
PHREB ensures institutionalization of the Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) by evaluating all institutions’ establishment of functional and effective Ethics Review Committees. This is further supported by CHED in CMO No. 52, series of 2016 mandating all Philippine HEI to abide to the codes of ethics developed by allied research institutes and agencies in the Philippines.
To ensure adherence to the universal ethical principles for the protection and promotion of dignity of health research and health-related research participants, PHREB set the requirement for registration and accreditation of all Research Ethics Review Committees (RERCs) in 2014.
It stated that “all RERCs that currently conduct ethics review of research proposals involving human participants must register and undergo accreditation by PHREB by December 2015, according to PHREB Memorandum dated 27 February 2015.
The PHREB Committee on Standards and Accreditation (CSA) evaluates the REC according to seven criteria: functionality of structure and composition, adherence to international, national guidelines and policies and adequacy of standard operating procedures and consistency of implementation. The REC is also evaluated based on completeness of review process, adequacy of after review process, and adequacy of administrative support and efficiency of the recording and archiving system.
The level of accreditation indicates the type of research and the degree of risk involved in the protocols/proposals reviewed by the REC. Level 1 accredited REC reviews researches with minimal risk to participants. Level 2 accredited REC reviews all types of researches except clinical trials required for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) registration of new drugs.
These entail more than minimal risk to participants. Level 3 accredited REC reviews all types of researches including studies required for FDA registration.
These RECs need to comply with the International Conference on Harmonization – Good Clinical Practice (ICH-GCP) standards.
As of September 2, 2020 there are 105 RECs listed in the PHREB website with accreditation Level 1 to Level 3. The BukSU REC is the first and only REC accredited in Region X and one of 25 Level 1 accredited RECs in the Philippines.
The BukSU REC was created in 2019 to ensure that ethical standards are practiced in the conduct of all university researches. The committee reviews research ethics protocol and monitor the implementation of the same throughout the entire research process.
The BukSU REC is headed by the REC Chairperson Dr. Carina Joane V. Barroso. Its members include Dr. Zita I. Dales, Ms. Ma. Algerica T. Cuenco, Mr. Christian J. Inovejas, Ms. Loreta Sol L. Dinlayan, Ms. Melody C. Ravelo, Pastor Daniel C. Asuncion, and Atty. Adrian G. Bahian Jr. The REC and its staff, Mr. Dayle Paulo Tantoy, submitted the requirements for accreditation on June 15, 2020.
Dr. Barroso expressed her gratitude to all those who made the accreditation possible. She cited the support of the University President, Dr. Oscar B. Cabañelez, and the Vice President for Research, Extension and International Affairs, Dr. Joy M. Mirasol, the Research Director, Dr. Beverly B. Bicar and the hard work of the REC members and staff, as instrumental in this feat.
The accreditation of the REC, she added, signifies the robust and thriving research culture of the university. It manifests the commitment of BukSU to produce ethically-sound and high-impact researches. (Joanne Vivien S. Belderol/Office of the Vice President for Research, Extension, and International Affairs)