PCARI links and information

What is PCARI? Here’s a useful statement to clarify matters.


October 3, 2013:

See Statement of Chairperson Patricia B. Licuanan: On Philippine-California Advanced Research Institute (PCARI) –“No Anomaly in PCARI Project”:

First, on the project:

A major public investment to help the country catch up, the PCARI Project aims to develop over a five-year period the capabilities for high-end research of Filipino scientists and researchers in leading public and private universities and colleges, thus laying the human infrastructure for the production of a critical volume of quality scientific research that will translate into innovations and cutting edge technologies. Like many other countries—e.g. Rwanda, Botswana, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, China and Chile— the Project seeks to do so by linking Philippine higher education institutions (HEIs) with elite research universities that have successfully produced leading-edge technologies in potential niches of the country.

The PCARI Project will specifically support joint research for capacity building between Philippine HEIs and leading universities in California, USA, initially, with the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and the University of California Berkeley (UCB) to tap into their world-recognized expertise in translational medicine and in information infrastructure development, respectively. The project is covered by the 2012 Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines on Scientific and Technological Cooperation. The Philippine-based HEIs will be initially drawn from the member institutions of the Engineering Research and Development for Technology (ERDT) and the National Science Consortium (NSC), formal associations of top ranked Philippine HEIs in the fields of Engineering and Science. These HEIs have been recipients of government research grants not only from CHED but also from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

To carry out the project, CHED has established a Project Management and Coordination Office (PMCO) headed by Dr. William G. Padolina, former Secretary of the DOST and current president of the National Academy of Science and Technology. Dr. Padolina shall oversee the establishment of two institutes for purposes of implementing the priority areas stated in the GAA: The Institute for Information Infrastructure Development (IIID) with Dr. Joel Marciano Jr. as Interim Director and The Institute for Health Innovation and Translational Medicine (IHITM) with Dr. Carmencita Padilla as Interim Director.

The Institute for Information Infrastructure Development (IIID) is tasked to develop: 1) Electronic computing and communication system and devices for effective generation, processing, management and dissemination of relevant, accurate timely and actionable data that support and enhance disaster risk management and response, environmental monitoring, education, cyber security, agriculture, energy generation monitoring, inclusive governance through e-Government/e-Participation in the Philippines; and 2) Innovation in computing, software, communications and electronic technologies and techniques – including experimental validation of testing for wireless networks, micro-grids, information technology (IT) security, micro-electronics and advanced materials, embedded sensors and computers – leading towards translation into industry, which enhance the competitiveness of the Semi-conductors and Electronic manufacturing and Information and Communication Technology sectors in the country.

The Institute for Health Innovation and Translational Medicine (IHITM), on the other hand, will develop the following for the diseases on the list of the ten highest causes of morbidity and the ten highest causes of mortality in the Philippines: rapid and affordable diagnostic tests; targeted drug therapy and affordable medical devices for an array of diseases and health practitioners; and viable and effective health intervention systems.

Apart from enhancing capacities through involvement in high-end research, the outputs of the PCARI Project over a five-year period, with budgetary support of P1.763B per year include a pool of masters/doctoral grantees; Research Development and Innovation (RDI) workers; creation of several unique programs (e.g. Master in Translational Medicine, Master of Engineering, Master of Advanced Studies in Integrated Circuit Design, Master in Clinical Research; capstone on information infrastructure technology and certificate programs including training on Technopreneurship); trained RDI management, grant administrators, human resource managers for RDI, Intellectual Property, among others.

Since the budget for each approved collaborative research project between the UCB and UCSF and the collaborating Philippine HEIs shall be funded by the Philippine Government, through CHED, the provisions of Republic Act No. 8293, as amended, also known as the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, and Republic Act No. 10055, also known as the Philippine Technology Transfer Act of 2009, shall govern, where applicable, the inventorship and ownership of intellectual properties and intellectual property rights as a result of the implementation of the approved collaborative research project.

CHED emphasized that under the contract documents that are being negotiated with UCB and UCSF, the two institutions even agreed to be subjected to Philippine Commission on Audit post-audit review and evaluation as regards the financial transactions of the research projects approved for PCARI Project funding. The PCARI Project contract documents have been endorsed to the Secretary of the Department of Justice for appropriate review, evaluation and go signal for implementation. Since the projects are still going through the approval process, very little of the budget for 2013 has been spent. The research proposals have been initially reviewed by CHED and submitted for evaluation by DOH and DOST.


Second, see:


Under the CHED Charter, Republic Act No. 7722, the Commission is mandated to promote, direct and support higher education institutions in performing their research and instructional functions. In line with this mandate, the National Higher Education Research (NHERA) Agenda 2 for the period 2009-2018, which CHED developed with partner institutions, encourages partnerships and collaborations between Philippine HEIs with other research institutions both local and foreign in the conduct of research and the application of its outputs.

In response to queries about what the Philippine HEIs can gain from a partnership with the University of California (UC), CHED clarified that the UC is at the forefront of the science, technology and know-how in the two identified research priority areas indicated in the 2013 GAA provision: information infrastructure development (IID) and health innovation and translational medicine (HITM). The access alone to the know-how accumulated through years of high quality research provides a rare opportunity to enhance the capacity of Filipino researchers. Furthermore, upon approval of the projects, the extent of the involvement of UC in the execution of the research plan is significant because parts of the experiments will be conducted in the UC high end laboratories to accelerate the pace of the experiments as their laboratories and other project facilities already possess state-of-the-art equipment.

CHED also pointed out that the procurement process that led to the selection of the UCB and UCSF in fact complies with the conditions expressly provided in the Special Provision No. 6 of the 2013 GAA, namely, the appropriate and premier California public institution of higher learning with specialization in the areas of translational medicine and information infrastructure development. It is also in accordance with the congressional deliberations during the 2013 Budget hearings of CHED.

The Fellows and Researchers who will carry out the peer reviewed and fully evaluated joint research projects would have the technical know-how, specialized knowledge, professional skills and expertise required. CHED made clear, however, that the agreements covering the PCARI Project will be between CHED and UCB or UCSF, and the Philippine HEIs, and not with the individual researchers themselves.

CHED also clarified that former Commissioner Nona S. Ricafort’s 2nd term expired on July 20, 2013, although she served thereafter on holdover capacity. While it is claimed that she had resigned through an alleged letter to the President, she continued to report to the CHED office and held Board meetings with the State Universities and Colleges assigned to her. The new commissioners took their oath a day after their appointment by President Benigno S. Aquino III on September 24, 2013.

On the other hand, CHED Director Carmina B. Alonzo, in a letter to Chairperson Licuanan dated October 2, 2013, disavowed having given any reporter a letter which is being cited as source of the claims of the alleged anomalies in the PCARI Project.

Here is the 2013 Budgetary Item Chairperson Licuanan was referring to (Click the image to enlarge or click here for the section of the General Appropriations Act of 2013):



It’s not as if the information hasn’t been out there for some time. A simple search online would bring up the following for anyone who cares to look:

July 26, 2012:

See the U.P. Gazette, covering 1281st Meeting, 26 July 2012, page 14 (Report of the President):

Proposed Philippine-California Advance Research Institutes (PCARI)

As you may recall, I went to San Francisco, California in January this year to
pursue a proposal initiated by Dr. Dado Banatao (UP honorary doctorate in 2000)
to establish two (2) joint research institutes between UC Berkeley and UC San
Francisco on one hand and leading Philippine universities on the other. These
Philippine-California Advance Research Institutes (PCARI), which will be
housed in UP, are intended to support the Philippine government’s goal of
mobilizing knowledge for greater productivity and economic growth in the two
key technology areas: Information Technology and Biotechnology.

We were informed on 21 July that President Aquino had approved the PCARI
proposal for implementation in 2013. The proposed funding requested from the
Philippine government for the project is USD 205 million (P8.6 billion) over a
period of five (5) years.

To begin planning the project, a meeting is scheduled to be held on 8 August
2012. The meeting will be hosted by CHED Chair Licuanan and the participants
will include Dr. Banatao, DBM Secretary Abad, DepEd Secretary Luistro, and

September 18, 2012: 


PCARI Executive Summary posted in the FaceBook of the Brain Gain Network. Its website describes PCARI as

PCARI is a collaboration between the Philippine government, leading Philippine universities, the University of California (UC) Berkeley, and UC San Francisco. Under the guidance of Dado Banatao, PCARI establishes two joint research institutes in two key technology areas: Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Health and Biotechnology, which have both been identified as the focus for the development of industry in the Philippines.

The Executive Summary can be downloaded online by clicking this link. Or click here:


There is also information in PhilDev:

The vision of PCARI is to unite scientific inquiry with practical use in two areas of advanced technology of significant potential benefit to the Philippines – information and communication technology and translational medicine and healthcare. Both Institutes will be open-walled, benefiting from rapid national progress in electronics, telecommunication and biotechnology, collaborating with established Philippines business innovators like Ayala, Globe Telecom and Petron, thus stimulating an “ecosystem” of Research / Development / Deployment.

Two Joint Institutes For Innovative Research, Education and Economic Impact

Each of these two institutes will have a set of specific goals for innovative research, education and training, and implementation to advance research and educational excellence to promote economic growth and quality of life in the Philippines:

Institute for Information Infrastructure Development (IIID)

Focus: advancing information technology, energy, e-government and e-education in the Philippines through strategic research and education. The IIID will be supported respectively by the University of California, Berkeley College of Engineering and CITRIS, Berkeley (Center for IT Research in the Interest of Society).

Institute for Health Innovation and Translational Medicine (IHITM)

Focus: advancing health care in the Philippines through strategic technology, delivery and training. The IHITM will be supported by UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley.

(for more on what PhilDev is see this link)

March 2, 2013:

See the message of S. Shankar Sastry, Dean and Roy W. Carlson Professor of Engineering, Director, Blum Center for Developing Economies, at Berkeley:

With Philippine researchers and business innovators, we are developing PCARI, the Philippines–California Advanced Research Initiative. This multimillion-dollar collaboration unites scientific inquiry with practical application in two new institutes: one in information and communication technology and another in translational medicine and healthcare. Both institutes will be open-walled, benefiting from global advances in electronics, telecommunications and biotechnology. The UCSF medical campus is our partner in this endeavor.


August 20, 2013:

See this article, CTSI Spotligt: Alice Fishman: one of the senior program managers.

August 27, 2013:

See Committee Daily Bulletin, Vol. 1, No. 8, Committee Affairs Department of the House of Representatives:

In line with efforts to reinforce the country’s information technology
infrastructure and promote high-end collaborative research and
technological innovations, Licuanan cited the Philippine-California
Advanced Research Institutes (PCARI), which brokers partnerships
between selected HEIs (University of the Philippines, Ateneo de
Manila University, Mapua Institute of Technology, and De La Salle
University) and the Universities of California, Berkely and San

The Committee requested Licuanan to submit documents pertaining to
the PCARI, including the program profile, budget allocation and

Note: the House has already passed the 2014 Budget on Second Reading.

September 9, 2013:

See July disbursements surge to 21.7% year-on-year from the Department of Budget and Management (section on Disbursement by expense class, of of July 2013):

MOOE expenditures as of July also supported CHED’s Philippines-California Advanced Research Initiative (PCARI), which is a research and scholarship project that aims to mobilize knowledge for greater productivity and economic growth in two key technology areas: Information and Communications Technology, and Health and Biotechnology.



Manuel L. Quezon III.

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