The UP Open University Institutional Research Ethics Committee (UPOU IREC) has been granted “Level 2 Accreditation” by the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB), the national policy-making body in health research ethics in the country. The UPOU IREC received its initial accreditation for the Level 1 Category from PHREB on 21 October 2020, following a recommendation by its Committee on Standards and Accreditation. Dr. Melinda Lumanta, former UPOU Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, led the committee, with Dr. Ricardo T. Bagarinao serving as IREC chair. Since then, the committee has consistently enhanced its operations to meet the standards and requirements for the Level 2 category. UPOU IREC is now chaired by Asst. Prof. Ria Valerie Cabanes.
On 25 January 2024, the PHREB Committee on Standards and Accreditation recommended the granting of a Provisional Level 2 Accreditation to the UPOU IREC. This accreditation will allow UPOU IREC to accept new protocols for review and to further comply with the 2020 PHREB Policies and Requirements for Accreditation of REC and the 2022 National Ethical Guidelines for Research Involving Human Participants.
The committee accepts research proposals for ethics review at the University level. Ethical research clearance is essential to students, faculty, and staff with research work requirements and in enhancing researchers’ ability to publish in international and local journals and other academic publications. Currently, the UPOU IREC is under the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, headed by Vice Chancellor Dr. Primo G. Garcia with the support of the Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Research, Dr. Myra D. Oruga.
Written by Marian P. Tatlonghari ♦ Edited by Myra C. Almodiel and Primo G. Garcia ♦ Contributed by UPOU OVCAA