UB’s Research Ethics Committee granted Level I Accreditation

The University of Bohol (UB) recently saw its commitment to building a research-oriented culture in the university pay off in a significant way when its Research Ethics Committee (UB-REC) was granted Level I Accreditation by the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB).

The UB-REC which is the institutional ethics review body of UB was formally conferred the coveted accreditation by the PHREB last August 15, 2019, during the 13th Philippine National Health Research System Week Celebration in Cagayan De Oro City. On hand during the occasion were Dr. Gloria T. Casabal, UB-REC Chairman and Dr. Leah Wilfreda RE Pilongo, UB's Research Dean.


This distinction makes UB the only academic institution in the province whose REC or ethics review body has been accredited by the PHREB and just the fourth academic institution for the whole of Region 7.

A Research Ethics Committee (REC) is a body, constituted by a duly recognized authority that makes independent decisions regarding the review, approval, and implementation of research protocols/proposals, to ensure the protection of the rights, safety, and well-being of human participants. It also promotes the integrity of research data.

Per Section 12 of Republic Act 10532 or the Philippine National Health Research System Act of 201, the PHREB shall ensure adherence to the universal principles for the protection of human participants in research. Among other things, the PHREB shall set requirements for accreditation of RECs in the Philippines to guide them in the conduct of quality scientific and ethical review of research protocols.

In line with this, PHREB accreditation is a requirement for all RECs, be it Academic Institution-based RECs, Hospital-based RECs, Government-based RECs, Cluster RECs, or Research Site-based RECs.

In obtaining Level I Accreditation from the PHREB, the UB-REC members, staff and secretariat drew inspiration from UB's trinity of virtues: scholarship, character and service and the full support of the administration led by Dr. Victoriano B. Tirol, III, UB President.

With the success of this endeavor, the university is positioned for Level 2 Accreditation for the UB-REC by August 2020. Aside from compliance with the strict requirements for accreditation set by the PHREB, another factor that helped the UB-REC get accredited was the presence of ethical experts in the committee. Dr. Francis Mae Trabajo, the UB-REC Vice Chair is also a member of the Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital - Institutional Review Board while Dr. Pilongo, a former UB-REC member is a member of the Central Visayas - Research Ethics Committee.

Aside from compliance with the strict requirements for accreditation set by the PHREB, another factor that helped the UB-REC get accredited was the presence of ethical experts in the committee. Dr. Francis Mae Trabajo, the UB-REC Vice Chair is also a member of the Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital - Institutional Review Board while Dr. Pilongo, a former UB-REC member is a member of the Central Visayas - Research Ethics Committee. With the success of this endeavor, the university is positioned for Level 2 Accreditation for the UB-REC by August 2020.

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