Department of Health

Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care (PITAHC)


The mandate of the Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care (PITAHC) for promotion of quality, safe, effective/beneficial, accessible, and acceptable traditional and complementary medicine (T&CM) products, technologies, and modalities, as well as for the protection of the Philippine traditional medicine (PTM) is strengthened by the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG) in 2012 that PITAHC is a research institution whose budgetary affairs shall now be under the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

The PITAHC Board of Trustees, in its meeting of October 2015, affirmed that PITAHC thrust is indeed research, and that manufacturing is not a thrust.  The Board likewise affirmed that PITAHC shall continue its advocacy and training functions as well as the accreditation functions.

In line with the thrust and agenda of the Philippine Institute for Traditional and Alternative Health Care 2017-2022 formulated in achieving the first outcome namely robust body of knowledge in aid of policy, programs development, and products development for the promotion of quality, safe, effective/beneficial, accessible, and acceptable traditional and complementary medicine (T&CM) products and services, and for the conservation of our cultural heritage on Philippine traditional medicine.

The purpose of this call for proposal is to stimulate the academe, government agencies and the private sectors to focus their efforts, innovative ability and resources to develop research proposals concentrating on T&CM to be able to bring about changes to improve the health and lives of people in order to address the gaps the current landscape of health research. PITAHC encourages the development of research proposals that are innovative and effective which can contribute to the overall health outcome in the country and address the present need of the dynamic health landscape of the Philippines.

PITAHC has defined the activities in six research clusters.  However, the activities and projects shall not be limited to those identified below.

Research Activities Cluster 1.

Documentation of our cultural heritage on Philippine traditional medicine

The rich cultural diversity of Philippine traditional medicine is represented by the diverse ethnolinguistic groups of the country (185 groups, SIL), including the 110 indigenous groups (NCIP). Further, the healing traditions of communities and healers based on so-called “sacred places” add to the richness of our cultural heritage.

The urgency of doing the documentation is emphasized because several factors (loss of habitat, onslaught of mainstream culture) have endangered the continuity of the said traditions. Several researches have been done, but more indigenous peoples groups and other cultural communities (including the Bangsamoro and “sacred places” groups) have not been covered.

The output of the research may be used for development of culture-sensitive health education materials for the indigenous peoples, for policy and programs development on health of the indigenous communities, preparation of book/tome on Philippine traditional medicine, enrichment of Philippine materia medica which may be basis for natural products development, and for advocacy to conserve the natural environments (ie, forests) where our indigenous peoples live. Knowledge management of this cluster also includes the collection, review and meta-review of available literature.

Research Activities Cluster 2

Research and development on safety, efficacy/benefit, and quality of natural products

The traditional knowledge and systems of the Philippine cultural groups, especially on higher plants, are a rich basis for natural products research. A national natural products research program shall include higher plants, animals, marine products, microbes, and others.

This outputs of this research activities cluster will include medicines, traditional medicines, health supplements, personal care products, and other products which are proven safe, effective/ beneficial, and of high quality through research and development. Excipients research and development for pharmaceutical and nutritional products shall also be covered in this cluster.

The R&D activities cover three levels: community-based preparations, preparations to be used by the MSMEs, and full industry development.

Research Activities Cluster 3

Clinical research on safety and efficacy/benefit of T&CM modalities

T&CM modalities such as hilot, traditional Chinese medicine (acupuncture, tuina, qigong), Ayurveda, homeopathy, chiropractic, osteopathy, naturopathy, and anthroposophic  medicine present varying levels of usefulness as complementary (or even alternative options) in an integrative approach to health care. Management of pain, stress, substance abuse, and many other conditions, for example, maybe best addressed by some form of T&CM.

We need the evidence to confirm the safety and effectiveness of the T&CM modalities. Given that some safe and effective modalities maybe more cost effective than mainstream methods, we shall push for inclusion of the same in the PhilHealth schedule of benefits.

One other aspect where T&CM has the palpable strength is in the field of preventive health care, through promotion of diet, exercise, stress management, and other means of healthful lifestyle. 

PITAHC shall take the leadership in this cluster of researches. The other stakeholders include the academe (the University of the Philippines System, the state universities and colleges, other higher education institutes), the training hospitals, the practitioners, and health professional societies, among others.

Research Activities Cluster 4

Policy, systems, and standards research

This cluster shall include researches to aid in policy making and to improve health care delivery. The role of T&CM in an integrative approach to contribute to universal health care shall be addressed by this cluster.  

 PITAHC shall take the leadership in this cluster of researches. The other stakeholders include the academe (the University of the Philippines System, the state universities and colleges, other higher education institutes), the practitioners, civil society organizations, and health professional societies, among others.

Research Activities Cluster 5

Socio-cultural research 

This cluster shall include researches to look at the acceptance of T&CM products and modalities by the public and the health care providers.

Research Activities Cluster 6

Knowledge management 

This cluster shall cover the systematic collection of available information on researches on T&CM in the Philippines, particularly those of medicinal plants.

Review and meta-review will be done. The knowledge base shall be inputted in databases.

Venues for research translation or dissemination include the online journal, newsletter, websites, social media, and others.

Funding Guidelines

Documentary requirements

PITAHC requires specific documents to be submitted as part of the process. The proponent should submit the following requirements:

a. Complete detailed proposal following the prescribed format.

b. Detailed breakdown of the required fund assistance to indicate the counterpart of the proponent’s institution and other fund sources including letter/s of commitment from the implementing, collaborating, and coordinating agency/ies to be accompanied by a cash program indicating the cash requirements of the project on a monthly basis.

c. Monthly Cash Program of the fund requested.

d. A counterpart fund, in kind and/or in cash, shall be required from the implementing agency as one of the application requirements. All projects must have a minimum of 15% counterpart contribution except for projects involving public good.

e. Curriculum Vitae of the Project Leader and other co- researchers/implementers.

f. Approval of the institution’s ethics review board for research involving human subjects or from an institutional animal care and use committee for animal subjects (if applicable).

g. Clearance from the National Committee on Biosafety of the Philippines (NCBP) for proposals with biosafety implications (if applicable).

h. For the private sector/non-government organizations (NGO):

1. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registration, documents of incorporation and other related legal documents.

2. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registration for partnerships, corporations, non-government organizations (NGO), documents of incorporation of the private sector proponent and other related legal documents.

3. Certificate of registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and/or Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) or the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) as the case may be, depending on the nature of the service required to be rendered. This is to ensure that the NGO/PO has a legal personality; has officers who are responsible and accountable for its operations, and is based in the community where the project shall be implemented.

4. Surety Bond Application Form (if applicable).

5. Copy of Income Tax Return.

6. Co-signers Statement (if applicable).

7. Accomplishment reports of previous projects

8. Authenticated copy of the latest Articles of Incorporation, or the Articles of Cooperation as the case may be, showing the original incorporators/organizers and the Secretary’s certificate for incumbent officers, together with the Certificate of Filing with the SEC/Certificate of Approval by the CDA.

9. Financial reports, audited by an independent Certified Public Accountant, for the past three (3) years preceding the date of project implementation, to ensure that it has a stable financial condition and that funds provided by PITAHC shall not be its sole source of funds. For NGO/PO which has been in operation for less than three (3) years, report of accomplishment or any equivalent proof, certified by its President and Secretary, that it had previously implemented similar projects shall be required, in addition to financial reports for the years it has been in operation.

10. Disclosure by the NGO/PO of other related business, if any, and extent of ownership therein.

11. Work and Financial Plan (WFP), and Sources and Details of Proponent’s Equity Participation in the Project.

12. Complete project proposal approved/signed by its officers which shall include the objectives, target beneficiaries, feasibility studies, risk assessment, designs, plans, blueprints, charts, etc.

14. List and/or photographs of similar projects previously completed by the NGO/PO, if any, indicating the source of funds for their implementation.

15. A sworn affidavit of the Secretary of the NGO/PO that none of its incorporators, organizers, directors or officials is an agent of or related by consanguinity or affinity up to the fourth civil degree to the officials of PITAHC authorized to process and/or approve the proposal, the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) and the release of funds. Relationship of this nature shall automatically disqualify the NGO/PO from being granted the project fund.

General Criteria for the evaluation of research proposal

a. Priority funding shall be given to programs/projects aligned to the Philippine Research and Development (R&D) Framework on TM/CAM and to PITAHC’s R&D agenda. The project proposals shall be evaluated using PITAHC’s existing project mechanism based on their specific criteria or any or a combination of the following criteria:

b. Consistent with PITAHC’s Priorities – complies or is aligned with the priority areas identified in the PITAHC R&D framework and agenda

c. Capacity of the Proponent – competence and commitment of the proponent to undertake the project based on experience/training and track record.

d. Institution Capacity – ability of the institution to implement the project with their existing and proposed facilities

e. Scientific Merit – sound scientific basis to generate new knowledge or to apply existing knowledge in an innovative manner

f. Technical and Financial Feasibility – tenability of the undertaking both technically and financially. These include the necessity of the project, attainability and desirability of the objectives, expected output, intended beneficiaries, and reasonable cost/budget.

g. Relevance – meets the needs of the industry, government, academe, and the general public

h. Timeliness – responsive to present issues of national, regional, and local concerns.

i. Methodology/Strategies for Implementation – the procedures involved, the materials used, sampling procedures, statistical analysis, and others including scope and limitations, time (seasonality) and place of study

j. Reasonable Timeframe – duration of the project and its activities should be within reasonable limits and consistent with the nature and complexity of the proposed activities

k. Plans for Research Utilization – the proposal should include plans on how the project result/output will be used by the potential end-user/s

l. Cultural Sensitivity – adaptability and acceptability of the project to Philippine culture and tradition, if applicable

m. Potential Socio-Economic Impact – effect of the project to create/provide employment, increase income, and address any current/pressing national problem, among others

n. Potential Environmental Impact – the project should not have significant adverse effect on the environment and/or public health

o. Potential Market – the level of existing demand and its potential to expand and explore new markets for the resulting product/process/service

p. Technology Readiness for Commercialization – transferability of technology to be promoted to include equipment/engineering support, and process/system

q. Ethical Considerations – statement of the proponent that, where applicable, the ethics, animal care and use, and biosafety clearances will be submitted prior to the conduct of the study

Such evaluation (including comments, suggestions, and recommendations) shall be used as bases for appropriate and final action on the proposal.


Final Research and Development Strategic Plan 2017-2022

PITAHC Research Proposal Template_v112016

Guidelines on the Management of Research Programs/Projects on Traditional Medicine and Complementary Medicine (TM/CM)