The University of San Carlos Research Ethics Committee (USC REC) received its Level 2 Certificate of Accreditation from the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB) last August 13, 2021. The Level 2 accreditation took effect last May 18, 2021 and expires on May 17th next year.

According to the PHREB website, Level 2-accredited RECs can review “all types of researches except clinical trials required for the Food and Drug Administration registration of new drugs.” Level 2 RECs can also review research that may entail more than a minimal risk to participants as well as post-marketing studies.

Previously, the USC REC was granted a provisional one-year Level 2 accreditation on July 15, 2019. Prior to this, the PHREB granted the committee a Level 1 accreditation on January 6, 2017. These recognitions from the board are testaments to the committee’s commitment to excellence, adherence to national and international standards in health research ethics, and efficiency. USC is the first non-medical school in Central Visayas to be accredited by the national ethics board.

Established on August 15, 2013 by then University President Fr. Dionisio M. Miranda, SVD, S.Th.D. as the Institutional Ethics Review Committee (IERC), the committee has seven members representing theological, philosophical, political/legal, behavioral, biomedical, and environmental backgrounds, along with a member with no professional discipline.

This was in compliance with the mandates of the Department of Science and Technology (A.O. 001, s.2007), the Commission on Higher Education (CMO 34, s.2007), and Republic Act 10532 or the Philippine National Health Research Act of 2013, which required higher educational institutions in the country to conduct ethical reviews of research that involve human participants to protect their rights and privacy. On November 9, 2017, the USC IERC was renamed as the USC REC.

The USC REC is tasked to review and ensure that all research involving human participants adhere to the highest ethical standards of health and social research. Inquiries and submissions for ethics review may be directed to the committee through

With reporting from J. J. Masna


Members of USC’s Department of Biology participated in a hybrid meeting with the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) Regional Coral Restoration Network Project on July 30, 2021.

The aim of the project is to upscale reef restoration in multiple regions in the Philippines through the introduction of coral larvae to degraded reefs, otherwise known as the larval enhancement method. 

Due to its rich marine life resources, Cebu is one of the planned demonstration sites. For this project, ACIAR has set the following objectives: increase the scale and efficiency of coral larval restoration; produce more resilient, heat-tolerant, coral communities and fish habitats; use innovative techniques in restoring degraded reef areas (e.g., use of an underwater robot); and monitor and evaluate the larger-scale coral and fish habitat reef restoration outcomes and community impacts.

This project is spearheaded by the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute (UP-MSI) and Marine Environment and Resources Foundation (MERF), Inc., together with leading universities in Australia namely: Southern Cross University, the University of Melbourne, Queensland University of Technology, and University of Technology Sydney.

Furthermore, the USC Department of Biology is looking forward to partnering and collaborating with the local project implementer, UP-MSI, through a memorandum of agreement for the next five years.

Reported by Annie Diola, M.S., Department of Biology

University of San Carlos

Renowned for its commitment to excellence, the University of San Carlos develops its students’ professional competence, character, and social transformation. Since its founding, USC offers its learners varied academic environments that foster academic excellence and lifelong learning, developing future professionals who will leave their marks as leaders in their respective fields. Read more..


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