The National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP), an advisory council to the government, in partnership with the ASEAN Centre Biodiversity (ACB) on Thursday proudly gave a yes for the publication of two policy briefs (PB) produced in the recently held Virtual Seminar-Workshop: Policy Brief Writing with the theme, Translating Research Results as Benchmark of Informed Decision, on April 19 and 22 via Zoom, completed by a 2-day offline writeshop with individual consultations and coaching on April 20 and 21.

Writeshop Produces Policy Briefs for Lake Danao and Hanunoo Language

Group photo of some of the National Research Council of the Philippines, ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, and participants of the 2-day Virtual Seminar-Workshop: Policy Brief Writing on April 19 and 22 via Zoom.

These two PB were generated from the projects namely, Language Preservation and Documentation of Hanunoo: Saving the Mangyan Culture led by Dr. Rochelle Irene G. Lucas of De La Salle University, and Lake Assessments for Key Ecosystems Services (LAKES) in Lake Danao Ormoc City by Ms. Olga Corales-Ultra of University of the Philippines Visayas Tacloban College. These projects were under the priority research areas of the National Integrated Basic Research Agenda (NIBRA) on Inclusive Nation Building (ATIN Program) and Sustainable Community (SAKLAW Program), respectively.

The recently concluded 4-day writeshop successfully crafted 10 policy briefs but only two were ready for publication at the end of the activity because of their completeness and overall publishable content. These 10 policy briefs were generated through the completed projects funded by the council.

Dr. Marieta Bañez Sumagaysay, NRCP Executive Director and ACB Team were happy for the efforts and cooperation of the 44 participants (31 Females and 13 Males). According to them the writeshop enhanced their skills in writing policy briefs.

The other 8 drafted Policy Briefs will be subjected to further editing and polishing. These are based on the following completed NRCP projects: 1) Insect Fauna Project of Lake Holon, Mt. Parker Range, T'boli, South Cotabato and Ethno-entomological Knowledge of Tboli Ethnolinguistic Group by Ms. Rizalyn Cudera; 2) Species Richness, Assessment and Conservation of Vascular Flora in Mt. Agad-agad, Lanao del Norte by Dr. Victor B. Amoroso; 3) Diversity and Assessment of Fauna in Mt. Agad-agad, Lanao del Norte by Dr. Maria Melanie M. Guiang; 4) Development of the Low cost Electrochemical Sensor for Heavy Metal Detection in Water; 5) Parasite Contamination and Transmission in Selected Agricultural Farms in Laguna and Quezon Provinces towards the Improvement of Control Strategies for Food Safety by Dr. Valler Gay V. Paller; 6) History of Kalagan Indigenous Group in Hagonoy, Davao del Sur by Dr. Randy Tudy; 7) eDNA Metabarcoding for Biomonitoring and Conservation of Indigenous and Threatened Aquatic Species in Major Rivers in the Samar Island Natural Park by Dr. Geraldine P. Muncada; 8) Microbial Based Technologies for the Rehabilitation of Heavy Metal Contaminated Wastewater from Mining site by Dr. Shirley T. Palisoc.

The first day of the workshop was spent on learning the elements, structure and form of policy brief writing. The following two days were offline writeshops where each team focused on the preparation of the policy brief and the incorporation of the comments and suggestions of the ACB. The fourth day was spent on the critiquing and revision of outputs.

The ACB speakers and reviewers were: Earl Paulo Diaz, Head, Communication and Public Affairs, Sahlee Barre, Communication, Education & Public Awareness Consultant, Pamela Reblora, Development Communication Officer, Reigna Belle Aguja, Multimedia Officer, and Atty. Mary Kristerie Baleva, Policy and External Relations Specialist.

NRCP Executive Director Sumagaysay expressed her appreciation to ACB for giving NRCP again the opportunity to collaborate in this initiative. She recalls that in 2016, the ACB was instrumental in NRCP’s production of its first four Policy Briefs in recent history. In her message, Dr Sumagaysay mentioned about “A policy brief is a platform that we can use to translate our research findings to one that is useful to lawmakers at various levels of governance. More than the contents being relevant and responsive, we are able to convey our scientific findings into something meaningful to the stakeholders and the recipient communities.”