Call for Proposals: ASEAN DxD Initiative

The ASEAN Diagnostics Development (DxD) Initiative is pleased to accept R&D project proposals aligned with diagnostics for Dengue, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B, and Malaria for CY 2019.

The ASEAN Diagnostics Development (DxD) Initiative is a joint program of Philippine’s ASEAN Network for Drugs, Diagnostics, Vaccines, and Traditional Medicines Innovation (ASEAN-NDI) and Singapore’s Diagnostics Development Hub (DxD Hub) which focus to co-develop diagnostic products among ASEAN Member States (AMS) that will address the unmet clinical needs in ASEAN. The initiative was approved by the ASEAN last May 2018 during its COST-74 meeting in Thailand.

The Initiative will give a priority to proposals that are strategically fit and beneficial to ASEAN. Likewise, medical value, workflow efficiency, competitive landscape, and commercial attractiveness in the development of product are important and necessary as the drugs/expected outcome should be market-ready.

We encourage interested participants to submit proposals via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and attach the following documents not later than 31 May 2019:

  • Completed project proposal template of ASEAN DxD Initiative
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) of team members

Chosen proposals will be co-funded by DxD Hub amounting to $50,000 USD. Visit for the details of application such as proposal form and evaluation criteria.


To promote advancement in the fields of biochemistry and molecular biology in the country, the Philippine Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (PSBMB) - Visayas Chapter hosted its 2nd Regional Symposium on February 21-22, 2019 at the Visayas State University Convention Center.

With the theme “Bringing Health and Wellness to new Heights through Biochemistry and Molecular Biology”, the symposium gathered more than 80 participants from different state universities in Visayas.

These include the resource speakers from Southern Leyte State University, University of Eastern Philippines, Silliman University, and VSU, with special participation from the new CHED-RO8 Director Dr. George M. Colorado CESO III, PSBMB National President Dr. Frank Heralde III and PSBMB Board Of Director Dr. Grace Fe Yu.

Dr. Junie B. Billones, a VSU alumnus who graduated as Magna Cum Laude in agricultural chemistry, served as keynote speaker. Dr. Billones talked about computational biochemistry, the advanced approach in finding new drugs for “superbugs” or the “drug-resistant microorganisms”.

Meanwhile, Dr. Colorado, also inspired and encouraged all the researchers and budding scientists-to-be to create projects that will contribute to the Gross Domestic Product of the Philippines.

The two-day event involved activities such as plenary lectures, trade exhibits, poster presentations, election and induction of new PSBMB members and elected officers.

VSU College of Arts and Sciences through the respective Departments of Biology, Biotechnology, and Pure and  Applied Chemistry headed by Dr. Candelario Calibo in partnership with RainPhil Inc., DIAMED, and Krypton International co-hosted this year’s regional symposium.




HIV/AIDS orientation conducted among Philippine Information Agency employees by the Quezon City Government. 

The Philippines has been reported to be one of the fastest growing worldwide in terms of rate of increase in infections of HIV/AIDS with a reported 56,275 cumulative cases since 1984 by the Department of Health AIDS Registry. The same data shows, however, that the Philippines is also a low-HIV-prevalence country, with less than 0.1 percent of the adult population estimated to be HIV-positive.

According to Quezon City Public Health Department Medical Officer Dr. Angel Mendoza, the increase in the Philippines’ yearly status on Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) cases rise to about 170 percent. As of November 2018, approximately one to two Filipinos are diagnosed as positive in an hour.  The medical practitioner conducted an HIV/AIDS orientation to employees of the Philippine Information Agency courtesy of its Human Resource and Development Division.

Mendoza said the city’s high percentages of Persons Living with HIV (PLHIV) are those in the age range of 15-24 year old.

“These are mostly students and those working in different industries,” he said, adding that they may be prone to experience discriminatory acts in the workplace, in their learning institutions, and even while availing some form of insurance coverage, simply because the level of awareness of some individuals are still on the low side.

He said the fight against HIV/AIDS has been made more difficult due to the latest industrial developments like easier access to social media that may have contributed to an increased number of unprotected sex and eventually, to the virus spread.

The irresponsible sharing of some social media posts online also contributes to the confusion as commonly read HIV-related stigma content relating to HIV transmission, as well as hoax medicinal remedies to HIV/AIDS can be easily shared.

These are the kinds of information we would want to contain and stop from disseminating, he said.

Mendoza said being misinformed about HIV such as its symptoms, prevention, and treatment may contribute to the rapid spread of infection among the young population.

The official shared that in the Philippines, Quezon City has the highest number of PLHIV diagnosed garnering 64 percent, followed by Caloocan City with 7 percent.

“The only way to know your status is to get tested. HIV testing is recommended as a standard care for all sexually active individual to ensure HIV prevention as well as immediate treatment and care,” Mendoza said.




In photo: Dr. Rufino E. Mengote, ARD of FAS led his unit in planting pechay and squash.

Women holding multiple roles both in household and in their day jobs are having less or no time taking notes of their health and well-being. Their preoccupation to these responsibilities has made it hard for them to remain well-conditioned to continue juggling all the roles they have including dismantling systemic inequalities which hinder access to economic, social and political opportunities.

In line with this and in the nationwide observance of the celebration of the women’s month, the GAD (Gender and Development) Program of DOST VIII in its aim to enable an environment where employees appreciate and discuss gender-related issues, launched an intervention program which would encourage men and women in the organization to involve themselves in a gardening management activity that would in turn develop consciousness on the importance of nutrition and taking due attention to overall well-being.

The units in the regional office- FAS, TO and RSTL were allocated a certain area where they can plant vegetables including pechay , squash, and okra. There were also fertilizers provided.

The health and nutrition program also aims to develop teamwork, and promote shared responsibility among the employees.




Tacloban City-The first built human milk bank in the Visayas was inaugurated on February 28, 2019, at the Reproductive Health and Neonatal Center, Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC), Tacloban City.

As part of the UNICEF’s commitment of building back better after Super Typhoon Yolanda, human breastmilk will now be available not only in usual time but also during and after disasters. UNICEF Chief of Health and Nutrition Dr. Wigdan Magdani said that in an area prone to disaster, high incidence of infant mortality is recorded.

With the state of measles outbreak, Department of Health, Assistant Regional Director Dr. Exuperia Sabalberino calls for a multi-sectoral campaign on breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is more than nutrition, it is a good life-saving method, ARD Sabalberino added.

Breastmilk is the best food offered to infants with all the nourishment needed in the first six (6) months of life. Accordingly, it is safe, clean, easily-digestible and in most cases the only available ready food from the mother.