The Department of Health (DOH) officially transferred the operations of the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Philippines to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through a ceremonial turnover of the HTA Council and HTA Division from the DOH to the DOST on 06 March 2023 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Manila.

DOH Officer-in-Charge-Secretary Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire and DOST Secretary Renato U. Solidum Jr., spearheaded the said event, in compliance with the UHC Law mandate on the transfer of the HTA Council as an attached agency to the DOST within 5 years after its establishment.

UHC legislators, Governor of Quezon, Hon. Angelina “Helen” Tan who previously chaired the Committee on Health of the House of Representatives for six (6) years, also gave their messages of support as champions of UHC and HTA Council. DOST Undersecretary for Scientific and Technical Services Maridon O. Sahagun and DOH Assistant Secretary for Health Regulation Team Atty. Charade Mercado-Grande whose offices the HTA Division directly reports to, also participated in the turnover.

Even during its establishment during the COVID-19 under the management of the DOH, the HTA Council and the HTA Division were able to produce several assessment topics and recommendations. With their transfer to the DOST, the HTA Research Network will be established, which will further strengthen the HTA capacity for the country by partnering with external entities who will help develop and implement training programs and will conduct HTAs. In the long run, the HTA Philippines envisions performing early HTA, which advances the conduct of assessments of health technologies at the early stages of clinical research and can guide the innovation development process.

DOST Secretary Solidum expressed the Department’s commitment to strengthen the implementation of the HTA process through research, capacity building, and partnerships.

At present, the HTA Philippines is in partnership with the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) for the conduct of selected assessments from the 2023 HTA priority topics through commissioning with external research entities.

The DOH and the DOST shall continue to work together on their mandates, capacity building and overall continuity of the current efforts with the leadership of Dr. Marita Reyes, the HTA Council Chairperson and Ms. Anne Julienne Genuino-Marfori, the HTA Division Chief.

“Rest assured that the Department of Health (DOH) will continue to provide assistance to the DOST for the smooth transfer of the HTA to the latter. Through a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach, we will continue to develop and improve our health systems to cater for the needs of every Juan and Juana,” said OIC Secretary Dr. Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire.