The Official Publication of Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health - Philippines

Milestones: Celebrating 20 years of NBS in the Philippines

Photo: VYLH-Philippines
(Unofficial Commemorative Logo)
2016 marks the 20th year since the pilot implementation of the Philippine Newborn Screening Program then known as the Newborn Screening Study Group of the Institute of Human Genetics - NIH, UP Manila.

Join us as we discover the steps and leaps taken in order to reach the NBS program of today - the same program that has saved and has been saving lives of Filipinos from death and mental retardation.

Milestones in the history of newborn screening in the Philippines

22 February First organizational meeting attended by representatives from Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) accredited and Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (POGS) accredited hospitals in Metro Manila
02 April Creation of the NBS Study group composed of pediatricians and obstetricians from pilot hospitals. Project name: Philippine NBS Project 
27 June Commencement of the Philippine Newborn Screening Program (PNSP). NBS Samples were sent daily to the New South Wales NBS Program in Australia for test performance and analysis.

18 September Start of operation of the NBS Laboratory at the NIH

March Inclusion of NBS in Children’s Health 2025 
30 July Creation of the DOH Task Force on NBS composed of representatives from DOH, Institute of Human Genetics-NIH, DILG and other health groups.

3 January Issuance of Administrative Order No 1A s 2000 by the DOH stating the Policies for the
Nationwide Implementation of NBS

07 February Issuance of Department Order No. 29-C s, 2001 by DOH Subject: Creation of the National Technical Working Group on NBS Program, tasked to provide direction and guidance for the nationwide implementation of the NBS program.

April NBS bills filed at Congress 
May NBS bills filed at Senate
9 December Issuance of DOH Administrative Order No 121, s2003, Subject: “Strengthening Implementation of the National NBS System

20 January Issuance of the Presidential Proclamation No 540 entitled “Declaring the First Week of October of each year as “National NBS Awareness Week”
07 April Enactment of Republic Act No 9288 known as the Newborn Screening Act of 2004
05 October Signing of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Newborn Screening Act and signing of the Memorandum of Agreement for the creation of the Newborn Screening Reference
Center (NSRC) by the DOH and UP Manila

02 December Opening of the 2nd NBS Center at West Visayas State University Medical Center

22 January NBS included in licensing requirement of Philippine hospitals; 90% of NBS fee covered by national health insurance

January 2 Offering of Scholarships for Genetics and Endocrinology for Regions without specialists

12 June Issuance of DOH Memo No. 2008-0123 imposing the following targets: 30%-2008, 50%-2009 and 85% by 2010
08 August Issuance of AO No. 2008—0026 and 2008-0026A by DOH imposing penalties for non-implementation and/or overpricing of NBS

January Creation of Expert Panel Committees
July Creation of National Follow-up Committee
July 18 Institution of Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health - Philippines, a national collaboration of youth leaders of youth organizations from universities and communities throughout the Philippines.
September Opening of Newborn Screening Center in Mindanao (3rd NBS Center)

October Opening of the 4th Newborn Screening Center in Central Luzon

Streamlining and Revision of the Philippine Performance Evaluation System (PPEAS)
February Creation of the Committee on Use, Retention and Storage of Residual Dried Blood Spots for policy recommendation
Unbundling of the NBS from the other services in the Philhealth Newborn Care Package
June Offering of MS Genetic Counseling Program at the PGH- Department of Pediatrics, UP College of Medicine, University of the Philippines Manila

March Creation of the Technical Group on Expanded Newborn Screening
October Inclusion of MSUD in the Panel of Newborn Screening 

September Opening of the 5th Newborn Screening Center in Southern Luzon servicing to Region IV-A. Samples from Region IV-B, V and the National Capital Region are processed at NSC-NIH.

October 30 Issuance of DOH Administrative Order (AO) No. 2014-0035 or the Guidelines on the Setting-up of Newborn Screening Continuity Clinics.The order provides for the setting up and implementation of NBS Continuity Clinics and Birth Defects Continuity Clinics for referral and management of all screened-positive newborns.
November 19 Issuance of DOH Administrative Order (AO) No. 2014-0045, or the Guidelines on the Implementation of the Expanded Newborn Screening Program which laid down the rules and procedures on how the expanded newborn screening should be implemented on all levels, including local, regional, and national.

Newborn Screening Reference Center. Program Briefer as of December 2012. 
Padilla, C. et al. 2009. Newborn Screening Research to Policy. Acta Medica Philippina 43(2).

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