In line with the celebration of the Development Policy Research Month with the theme “Navigating the New Globalization: Local Action for Global Challenges”, NEDA-6 conducted the 2019 Regional Research Utilization Forum on September 25, 2019 at the RDC Conference Hall, NEDA-6 Building, Iloilo City. The activity was participated by 70 representatives from Line Agencies, LGUs, private sector groups, academe and HEIs. The forum, focused on local health-related researches that have the potential to respond to the country’s and to global health challenges.

NEDA-VI Regional Director Ro-Ann A. Bacal, in her welcome message, expressed the significance of advancing Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in increasing the region’s growth potentials and building a globally competitive knowledge-based economy. She hopes that further studies and applications will eventually lead to medical and health solutions.

Maria Isabel L. Layson, Grade 11 of the Iloilo National High School Special Science Class shared her research journey in the course of the study on the “Anti-oxidant Activity and Chemical Constituents of Muntigia calabura Linn: An in vitro Study”. Layson investigated the anti-oxidant activity, and chemical constituents of what is popularly known as aratiles, including the root, bark, stem, leaves, fruits and flowers. The study revealed that it can regulate Type 2 diabetes and is also anti-inflammatory.

The research on “Phytochemicals from Kadios (Cajanus cajan) as Antibiotics Against Drug-Resistant Bacteria”, on the other hand, focuses on the anti-bacterial activity of the seed extract of kadyos against Multi Drug Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MDRSA) or flesh-eating bacteria.  The latter is co-authored by Doralyn S. Dalisay, PhD; Jenny Marie D. Blancaflor (presentor), and Jonel P. Saludes, PhD of the University of San Agustin. Dr. Dalisay clarified that these researches are just preliminary studies and the public should not be misled by misconceptions disseminated through social media.

A breakthrough in medicine occurred in 1949 when antibiotics including erythromycin (Ilosone) was discovered from a soil in Iloilo.  From then on, antibiotics are regarded as one of the most significant achievements of the 20th century. The University of San Agustin’s research on the “Renaissance of Ilosone: Discovery of New Antiobiotics from Iloilo’s Sediments” is to find new antibiotics from the unexplored and untapped beneficial bacteria called actinobacteria. Studies revealed that there are natural products from actinobacteria that can kill staphylococcus aureus, one of what is commonly called as flesh-eating bacteria. The study, authored by Jonel P. Saludes, PhD and Doralyn S. Dalisay, PhD, will also serve as lead towards the development of new antibiotics.

The study on “Health Facilities and Services by the LGUs in Antique: A Skimming through the Poor and their Access to Health” by Loyalda T. Bolivar, DM is a quick look at the health facilities and services provided by the province for its constituents. The study showed that indeed, the province was able to provide interventions and facilities, however, these are not yet enough considering the increasing population as well as the distance of these facilities, especially those in the hard-to-reach areas. The study is very important to the LGU as a tool for prioritization of interventions, as well as for planning purposes.

The Regional Research Utilization Forum is conducted annually to recognize and present completed researches by research institutions, regional line agencies, SUCs and Private HEIs, whose findings are worthy of sharing to the public and to the stakeholders in Western Visayas (DRD).