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The Food and Nutrition Research Institute’s Institutional Ethics Review Committee or FIERC reconstituted its membership and held its first organizational meeting in March 6, 2019 at the FNRI Conference Room. The meeting was organized by the FIERC Secretariat to welcome the new members of the committee. Present during the meeting were Dr. Desiree R. Daniega, the newly appointed Chair, Dr. Rodolfo F. Florentino, Co-Chair, and members Dr. Rodolfo E. Sumayao, Jr, and  Ms. Evelyn Villapando. Two new members Dr. Soledad Natalia M. Dalisay and Dr. Paulyn Jean A. Claro were welcomed to the committee. Two other FIERC members, Dr. Marie Joy B. Arguillas and Prof. Arche L. Ligo are not able to make it to the meeting. FIERC affiliates who are composed of representatives from selected FNRI technical divisions were also invited to the meeting.

Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, DOST-FNRI Director, thanked the new members of the committee for accepting the invitation to join the FIERC. He expressed his gratitude to Dr. Daniega for accepting the post to chair the committee. He said that more than implementing scientifically-sound research and development (R&D) projects, the committee will assist DOST-FNRI to ensure that the rights, safety, and wellbeing of its researches’ human participants are protected through the provision of ethical clearance.

Ms. Aguilos presented the brief history of the FIERC and its activities in 2018. A total of 18 protocols were extensively reviewed by the FIERC, 9 of which were by the full board, 3 through expedited review and 3 were declared exempted by the committee.  The DOST-FNRI Management provided funds for  the FIERC operations and ethics training of its members.

The FIERC obtained its Level III accreditation from the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB) in May 2016 and is valid until May 2019. The challenge of the reconstituted committee is to sustain the accreditation and participate in the committee’s re-assessment by PHREB before it expires. The tentative schedule of the accreditation visit is March 25-27, 2019.

In preparation for the accreditation, the new members will be attending a 3-day training on Good Clinical Practice (GCP) at UP Manila. Accreditation kits for the PHREB accreditors and trainees will also be prepared by the FIERC Secretary.

With the consistent support of the DOSTFNRI Management, the reconstituted FIERC will continue to UPhold the Rights, Welfare, and Well-being Of Human Participants in DOST-FNRI REsearChes.

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