UP Diliman College of Science Statement on Ethical Research Involving Indigenous Peoples

In light of the recent issues on the collection of genomic data from our Indigenous Peoples (IPs), the College of Science reiterates the importance of going through the proper channels and respecting the mandates of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB).

Scientists have been interested in conducting research (e.g. genetic analysis) involving the IPs as they reveal a lot about their community’s history, migration, adaptations, language, etc. The PHREB, as mandated by Republic Act No. 10532, requires all research that involves human subjects to undergo an ethical review and clearance from a PHREB-accredited Research Ethics Committee before its conduct. This is to ensure the safety and well-being of the research participants and, in this case, the IPs.

The College of Science strives to comply with the laws and regulations before conducting research and experiments, especially when it involves human subjects. The College, as one of the active institutions that produce respected scientists, will not tolerate that its constituents skip or neglect these necessary ethical steps.

We encourage every researcher, not just from the College, to preserve and respect the culture, tradition and dignity of IPs in the Philippines by strictly abiding by the implementing rules and regulations of the PHREB and NCIP. Above all our scientific endeavors, we must also be mindful of the social impact of our goals.