The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), through its Biorisk Management Office (BRMO), participated in the third and final session of the 6th Philippine Advanced Biorisk Training Program (PhABOT 6) from May 22 to June 2, 2023 at Parque España in Alabang, Muntinlupa City.
Biobank Facility Manager Mr. Ron Justine Laroza represented the Institute in the PhABOT 6 training program. Mr. Laroza also participated in the 1st and 2nd sessions of the program earlier this semester.
The University of the Philippines – Manila’s National Training Center for Biosafety and Biosecurity (UPM-NTCBB) facilitated the training sessions.
The PhABOT 6 training program was organized by the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), through the implementation of the Biological Threat Reduction Program (BTRP) and Chemical Security & Elimination (CSE) task orders in the Philippines. The program was also conducted in collaboration with the Department of Health (DOH).
The certification training program was designed based on 15 core competencies which were divided into three (3) training sessions, with each session lasting two weeks.
The program aims to provide management-level training focused on the general overview of Biorisk Management and the roles and responsibilities of management in the development, management, oversight, and continuous improvement of biosafety and biosecurity programs.
With the growing threat of emerging and remerging diseases, the PhABOT program aims to equip health professionals on how to address threats and possible exposure to biological agents, especially in the field of health care and epidemic control.
Last June 1, all participants of the training as well as officials from UP Manila and UPM-NTCBB, US DTRA, and the US Embassy Manila, attended the Closing Ceremony and Graduation at Vivere Hotel in Alabang. A total of 18 participants, composed of doctors, medical technologists, and technical personnel from the Department of Agriculture and the DOH, participated and graduated from the training as Certified Biorisk Officers.
PhABOT is the only biorisk officer certification program in the Philippines. To date, there are only 140 certified biorisk officers in the country.