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April 06 2017


The Makati Medical Center – Institutional Review Board (MMC-IRB) was recognized anew by the Forum for Ethical Review Committees in Asia and the Western Pacific Region (FERCAP) after it met the standards set forth by the regional ethics body.
The plaque of recognition was accepted by Sonia E. Bongala, MD; Romana G. Borromeo, MD; Margaret May A. Ga, RN; Hazel Faye R. Docuyanan, RPh, MS; and Jocelyn N. Laverinto on November 23, 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand during the annual FERCAP assembly.
The renewal of recognition was bestowed after the joint visit and re-survey conducted by both FERCAP and the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB) on July 4-6, 2016. The MMC-IRB was first recognized by FERCAP on November 20, 2013 in Bali, Indonesia during its General Assembly.   
Cristina E. Torres, MD, FERCAP Coordinator for the Philippines, was the lead coordinator of the re-visit while Atty. Roberto P. Villanueva was the lead coordinator for PHREB. The two team members were Aphornpirom Ketupanya, MD (FERCAP) from Thailand and Cecilia V. Tomas, MD (PHREB). The accreditation survey trainees who were divided into three groups consisted of the following: Group 1 – Atty. Villanueva,  Prof. Leonora Borromeo (Arellano University), Marivic A. Villamor, MD (UERM), and Juliet Falguera (SCMC-AEI);  Group 2 – headed by Dr. Ketupanya, with members Harietta O. Dela Cruz, MD (UERM), Prof. Anna A. Lugue (UERM) and Prof. Marilyn E. Crisostomo (SCMC-AEI). Dr. Tomas led Group 3 with members Ma. Milagros U. Magat, MD (UERM), Romalyn O. Medina (SCMC-AEI) and Prof. Marlene Padua (Arellano University).
The PHREB-FERCAP objective for the re-visit/re-survey was to assist the MMC-IRB in its quality development by reviewing its ethical review practices and appraising its performance vis-à-vis the Strategic Initiative for Developing Capacity in Ethical Review (SIDCER) criteria for recognition and the PHREB criteria for Level III accreditation. The major components of the re-visit/re-survey included an office visit, review of IRB documents, interview with key members of MMC-IRB, and board meeting observation.
The recognition granted to MMC-IRB indicates that the MMC-IRB satisfactorily met the standards set forth by FERCAP and ensures that the ethics review process in the institution has fully satisfied national and regional standards.
Dr. Javier, MMC-IRB Chairman, cited the hard work and the persevering efforts of the IRB members and staff to ensure that the IRB complies will all the requirements. He also expressed gratitude to the administration, specifically Benjamin Alimurung, MD; President & CEO Rosalie R. Montenegro; and Medical Director Johnny Sinon, MD for fully supporting the MMC-IRB in its pursuit of regional recognition.


MMC-IRB Members, led by Saturnino P. Javier, MD (seated, first from right) and Sonia E. Bongala, MD (seated, second from right) with Medical Director Johnny B. Sinon, MD (seated, third from right) with Lead Coordinators for PHREB and FERCAP and other accreditors during the Closing Meeting of the Joint PHREB-FERCAP Accreditation 

MMC-IRB Members receive plaque of recognition from Juntra Karbwang, MD (SIDCER Coordinator) and Kenji Hirayama (FERCAP Chair) during the FERCAP International Conference.