UPLB-SESAM Dean Dr. Rico C. Ancog joins MAIRS-FE Scientific Steering Committee

Dr. Rico C. Ancog, the dean and professor at the UPLB School of Environmental Science and Management (UPLB-SESAM), has been elected as the newest member of the Monsoon Asia Integrated Research for Sustainability – Future Earth (MAIRS-FE) Scientific Steering Committee. This appointment, made during the recent 2023 MAIRS-FE Scientific Steering Committee Meeting and Side Events at Century Park Hotel in Manila on November 16-17, represents a significant step in understanding how human activities impact the monsoon climate in the Monsoon Asia Region.

MAIRS-FE stands as a regional consortium dedicated to the holistic study of social and earth system processes across the Asia Monsoon Region. Unlike other initiatives focusing solely on monsoon climate, MAIRS-FE takes a unique approach by emphasizing the interaction between human activities and the monsoon system. This emphasis aims to evaluate the impact of human-induced changes on the monsoon climate and, in turn, how these altered climate patterns influence the socio-economic development of the region.

The consortium’s work is guided by a Scientific Steering Committee responsible for steering the direction of research endeavors. The inclusion of Dr. Rico C. Ancog, a distinguished expert in environmental science, is poised to further enhance the committee’s multidisciplinary approach to addressing crucial questions on monsoon resilience, societal vulnerability to environmental shifts, and the promotion of cross-disciplinary collaborations.

With Dr. Ancog’s expertise and leadership from the UPLB-SESAM, the committee gains invaluable insights to navigate the intricate dynamics between human interventions and the Monsoon Asia’s climate.  (Laurenz B. Cruz)

1HEALTH Project wins first place in the national antimicrobial resistance poster competition in the PAAW 2023

Representatives of the 1HEALTH Project from the School of Environmental Science and Management-University of the Philippines Los Baños (SESAM-UPLB), Dr. Yusuf A. Sucol (Project Leader) and Ms. Hannah Agatha D. Millares (Project University Researcher) emerged as the overall winner in the poster presentation competition during the Philippine Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Awareness Week (PAAW) 2023 on November 24, 2023, at the Eastwood Richmonde Hotel, Quezon City.

The annual event was hosted by the Inter-Agency Committee on Antimicrobial Resistance (ICAMR) which was chaired by the Department of Health (DOH) as this year’s lead organizer. The winning 1HEALTH AMR poster bested 38 posters exhibited by the ICAMR member agencies – DOH, DA, DOST, DILG, DENR, DTI, TESDA, CHED, DepEd – and from participating higher education institutions. 

Dr. Sucol and Ms. Millares presented a research paper entitled, “AMR and One Health: An Analysis of the Philippines’ Current Actions to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance,” aligning with this year’s conference theme, “Sama-samang Magtulungan para Antimicrobial Resistance ay Mapigilan.” The study analyzed the current Philippine government’s progress and directions to manage AMR as laid out in the Philippine National Action Plan to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance (PNAP-AMR) 2019-2023 and to provide insights into the adoption of the One Health approach in AMR interventions. The study employed the 2018 UN Food and Agriculture (FAO) Antimicrobial Resistance Policy Review and Development Framework (FAO-ARPRDF) after a systematic scoping and inventory of AMR policies, plans and literatures including a comprehensive policy review and timeline analysis and institutional and stakeholders’ SWOT analysis.
Notably, this research paper was a collaborative effort, co-authored by the 1HEALTH Project – AMR Component team, Dr. Alma Lorelei DJ. Abejero, Ms. Catherine B. Gigantone, Ms. Idel Angelie R. Malate, and Dr. Rico C. Ancog of SESAM-UPLB..

The PAAW 2023 celebration is in line with the observance of the World Antimicrobial Resistance Week (WAAW) 2023, a global campaign to raise awareness and understanding of AMR and promote best practices among One Health stakeholders to reduce the emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections. WAAW and PAAW are celebrated from 18-24 November every year. This is a joint program of the  Quadripartite organizations – the World Health Organization (WHO), World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), also dubbed as the “silent pandemic”, is a phenomenon when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites no longer respond to antimicrobial agents. As a result of drug resistance, antibiotics, and other antimicrobial agents become ineffective and, consequently, infections are difficult or impossible to treat. Thus, AMR increases the risk of disease spread, severe illnesses, and death. 
The 1HEALTH Project advocates for the holistic and efficient management of AMR through multi-sectoral partnerships and interventions targeted at safeguarding human, animal, and environmental health. Let’s continue to pave the way for advancements in combating Antimicrobial Resistance! (Christine Mae B. Santos, Hannah Agatha D. Millares) 🌍👏 #iAMResponsible #AntimicrobialResistance #PAAW2023 #the1healthproject #SESAMSAILS