Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman J. Prospero E. De Vera III, DPA declared this during his keynote address at the 3rd Western Visayas Health Conference in Iloilo City on Wednesday.
Speaking before researchers in Region 6, the CHED Chair highlighted the importance of health research and innovation in advancing health care quality and health outcomes, citing notable advancements in the global and national levels that made profound changes in human society. “Research and innovation are necessary to improve the health system so that it can attain its goal of promoting, restoring, or maintaining the health of the people,” stated De Vera.
Dr. De Vera further explained that with the Free Higher Education program of President Rodrigo Duterte under Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Quality Tertiary Education Act, higher education institutions (HEIs) now have to comply with the quality standards set by CHED in order to access government funds. “While the law provides opportunities for those who have less in life to be outstanding researchers someday, it also encourages higher education institutions to comply with quality standards. In the long run, those that are non-compliant won’t be able to avail of the subsidies. For the first time in the history of CHED, schools are rushing to comply to access the funds.”
“While the improvement in quality may take time to get institutionalized, in the long run these will hopefully redound to the overall improvement in the quality of higher education institutions,” De Vera added.
The CHED Chair further expressed the need for more sustainable and community grounded ways to enhancing the quality of health manpower in the country who will not only do research, but also serve the people in the barrios. “CHED through the Duterte administration also funded free medical tuition in eight State Universities and Colleges. The University of the Philippines through its School of Health Sciences had been educating community scholars to become midwives, nurses, and doctors.”
De Vera ends with the oft-repeated phrase, “Health is wealth…as we talk about health research and innovation, health is indeed wealth, our investment in health research and innovation redounds to the collective increase and maintenance of our wealth as a nation.”
The event is organized by the Western Visayas Health Research and Development Consortium (WVHRDC) in cooperation with the Region 6 offices of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) and the Department of Health (DOH).
PROSPERO E. DE VERA III, DPA
Chairman and Spokesperson
Commission on Higher Education