About Us

Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS)

In 2005, the terms of reference of the different agencies participating in the PNHRS were consolidated into the PNHRS bill that was finally enacted into law in 2013 after 9 years of lobbying. The hard work involved in campaigning at the Philippine Congress to pass the bill into law should be properly credited to PCHRD led by Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, its Executive Director.

The Philippine National Health Research System Act of 2013 (RA 10532) institutionalized the memorandum of understanding among the DOST, DOH, CHED and UP Manila to work towards “improving the health status,, productivity and quality of life of Filipinos by (a) ensuring that health research is linked to the health system needs; (b) ensuring that investments in health research yield the most benefit; (c) promoting good governance among health research organizations through efficient, effective, transparent and ethical health research management system ; (d) engaging in national and international partnerships and networks for health research development and (e) ensuring sustainability of resources for health research.” It was generally assumed that research ethics was embedded in objectives (a), (b) and (c).

Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB)

The more explicit provision that referred to research ethics was in Section 12 of the law that adopted the DOST Special Order No. 091 s 2006 that created the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB) to “ensure adherence to the universal principles for the protection of human participants in research” and shall, among other things:

  • Formulate/update guidelines for the ethical conduct of human health research;
  • Develop guidelines for the establishment and management of ethics review committees and standardization of research ethics review;
  • Monitor and evaluate the performance of institutional ethics review committees in accordance with procedures outlined in a prior agreement;
  • Promote the establishment of functional and effective ethics review committees;
  • Provide advice and make recommendations to the PNHRS Governing Council and other appropriate entities (including the Food and Drugs Administration[FDA]) regarding programs, policies, and regulations as they relate to ethical issues in human health research;
  • Initiate and contribute to discourse and discussions of ethical issues in human health research; and
  • Network with relevant local, national and international organizations.


Philippine Structural Framework for

Human Protection for Health Research




The  Philippine  Health  Research  Ethics  Board  (PHREB)  has  12 members, including three ex-officio members, namely, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)—PCHRD Executive Director, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) representative and the Department of Health (DOH) representative. Except for the ex-officio members, appointments shall be for a term of three years for the Chair and Co-Chair, and all other members shall have a term for two years. The members represent a  balance  of  background,  gender  and  disciplines  (e.g.,  health  research, philosophy, law, academe,  medicine,  public health/epidemiology, theology, social science and allied health sciences). There are also those who are from people’s organizations and the youth sector. 

Below is the composition of PHREB for the year 2023 to 2026. 

Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB)







Sonia E. Bongala, MD

Chair, Committee on Standards and Accreditation

Chair, Committee on Networking 




Vice Chair


Ms. Carmen V. Auste

Chair, Committee on Patient, Family and Community Engagement





Health Research


Ricardo M. Manalastas, Jr., MD

Chair, Committee on Information, Dissemination, Training and Advocacy





Social Science


Clemen C. Aquino, DPhil




Allied Health

Gemma N. Balein, DMD





Atty. Alberto T. Muyot










Dr. Lorenzo Maria C. de Guzman 






Rev. Rolex M. Cailing 



Philippine Council for Health Research and Development


Jaime C. Montoya, MD



Department of Health




Mr. Pio Justin V. Asuncion, MPH, RN


PHREB Secretariat



Ms. Reichel Refuerzo 


Administrative Order 001 Series of 2008
Registration of all Ethics Review Committees at the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board

Administrative Order 001 Series of 2007
Requirement for Review of all health researches involving human subjects/participants 


Please publish modules in offcanvas position.