In celebration of the National Development Policy Research Month, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) VI virtually conducted the 2021 Regional Research Utilization Forum (RRUF) last September 30.  This year’s national theme is “Reset and Rebuild for a Better Philippines in the Post-Pandemic World”. Around 400 participants from the academe, youth groups, the government sector and the private sector joined via Zoom and Facebook Live.

Prof. Alice Joan Ferrer, PhD, Executive Director of the Western Visayas Health Research and Development Consortium (WVHRDC) presented the research entitled “Covid-19 Pandemic and the Teachers in Western Visayas: Experience, Coping, and the Future.  Prof Paolo G. Hilado, Director for Research and Planning of the Colegio San Agustin Bacolod presented the research entitled “Being a Student in Western Visayas During the Covid-19 Pandemic”.  Ms. Kezzie Lyn Bacalocios-Hilado, of the University of the Philippines Visayas, presented the research entitled “Covid-19 Pandemic and the General Population in Western Visayas: Experience and Coping”.

The three studies included in this forum explored risk perception, knowledge, sources of information, infection prevention and control measures, causes of stress and anxiety, coping strategies, attitudes toward the pandemic response initiatives, perceived physical health status and health care utilization behavior of teachers, students and the general public. These were all conducted by members of the WVHRDC.

Research results showed that the general public is mostly reliant on social media for Covid-19 updates.  Teachers and students had low risk perception of getting infected and moderately high knowledge of signs and symptoms of COVID-19.  Remote learning caused additional stress on teachers and students.  The study results serve as a call to action for mental health support, especially among teachers and students.

The activity can be viewed in full via NEDA VI’s official Facebook page:  (IGPahila/NEDA6-DRD)