Newborn Screening



Republic Act 9288

Newborn screening (NBS) is a public health program aimed at the early identification of infants who are affected by certain genetic/metabolic/infectious conditions. Early identification and timely intervention can lead to significant reduction of morbidity, mortality, and associated disabilities in affected infants. NBS in the Philippines started in June 1996 and was integrated into the public health delivery system with the enactment of the Newborn Screening Act of 2004 (Republic Act 9288). From 1996 to December 2010, the program has saved 45 283 patients.   Five conditions are currently screened: Congenital Hypothyroidism, Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, Phenylketonuria, Galactosemia, and Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency.  
Current Status of NBS Implementation in the Philippines
Newborn Screening Legislation
NBS was integrated into the public health delivery system with the enactment of Republic Act 9288 or Newborn Screening Act of 2004   as it institutionalized the ‘National NBS System’, which shall ensure the following: [a] that every baby born in the Philippines is offered NBS; [b] the establishment and integration of a sustainable NBS System within the public health delivery system; [c] that all health practitioners are aware of  the benefits of NBS and of their responsibilities in offering it; and [d] that all parents are aware of NBS and their responsibility in protecting their child from any of the disorders. The highlights of the law and its implementing rules and regulations are:
  1. DOH is the lead agency tasked with implementing this law;
  2. Any health practitioner who delivers or assists in the delivery of a newborn in the Philippines shall prior to delivery, inform parents or legal guardians of the newborns the availability, nature and benefits of NBS;
  3. Health facilities shall integrate NBS in its delivery of health services;
  4. Creation of the Newborn Screening Reference Center at the National Institutes of Health and establishment and accreditation of NSCs equipped with a NBS laboratory and recall/follow up program;
  5. Provision of  NBS services as a requirement for licensing and accreditation, the DOH and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC)
  6. Inclusion of cost of NBS in insurance benefits
Currently, there are four Newborn Screening Centers (NSCs) in the country: NSC-National Institutes of Health in Manila; NSC- Visayas in Iloilo City; NSC-Mindanao in Davao City; and NSC-Central Luzon in Angeles City. The four NSCs provide laboratory and follow up services for more than 3000+ health facilities.
DOH, its partners and major stakeholders remain aggressive in identifying strategies to intensify awareness in the communities and increase coverage among home deliveries.  Among the recent efforts to increase the newborn screening coverage are appointment of full-time Regional NBS Coordinators; opening more G6PD Confirmatory Laboratories; partnership with midwives organizations; and production of information materials targeting different groups of health workers and professionals.
Key Players in the Implementation

Organizational chart for the national implementation of Newborn Screening

Organizational chart for the national implementation of Newborn Screening

Newborn Screening Statistics 
As of December 2010, there are 2,389,959 babies that have undergone NBS and based on these data, the incidences of the following disorders are: CH (1: 3,324); CAH (1: 9,446); PKU (1: 149,372); Gal (1: 108,635) and G6PD deficiency (1: 52).  The program has saved the following numbers of newborns from complications and/or death:  719 from CH, 253 from CAH, 22 from Gal, 16 from PKU and 44 273 from G6PD deficiency.
As of December 2010, the coverage of NBS is at 35%.  
National Center for Disease Prevention and Control –Family Health Office
Program Manager
Dr. Juanita A. Basilio
Dr. Anthony P. Calibo
National Newborn Screening Coordinator:
Ms. Lita Orbillo
San Lazaro Compound, Sta. Cruz, Manila
Telephone: (02) 7359956  
Newborn Screening Reference Center
Director: Dr. Carmencita D. Padilla 
National Institutes of Health
Building H, UP Ayala Land Technohub
Complex,Commonwealth Avenue, Brgy. UP Campus
Diliman, Quezon City
Newborn Screening Centers
For Regions I, II, III & CAR 
Unit Head: Dr. Florencio Dizon
Newborn Screening Center – Central Luzon
Angeles City University Foundation Medical Center 
MacArthur Highway, Barangay Salapungan, Angeles City
Telephone: (045) 6246502-03; Email:
For Regions IV, V & NCR 
Newborn Screening Center– National Institutes of Health 
Unit Head: Ms. Ma. Elouisa Reyes
Building H, UP Ayala Land Technohub
Complex,Commonwealth Avenue, Brgy. UP Campus
Diliman, Quezon City
For Visayas  
Newborn Screening Center– Visayas
Unit Head: Dr. J Winston Edgar Posecion
West Visayas State University Medical Center
E. Lopez St., Jaro, Iloilo City
Telefax: (033) 329-3744; Email:
For Mindanao  
Newborn Screening Center– Mindanao
Unit Head: Dr. Conchita Abarquez
Southern Philippines Medical Center
J.P. Laurel Avenue, Davao City
Telephone: (082) 226-4595 / 224-0337 
Telefax (082) 227-4152;
Centers for Health Development
CHD Mailing Address Business Phone NBS Regional Coordinator
CHD 1 - Ilocos San Fernando, La Union (072) 2425315; (072) 2424773 Clarita B. Lewis, RN
CHD 2 - Cagayan Valley Tuguegarao City (078) 3046585; (078) 8446585; (078) 8446523 Leticia T. Cabrera, MD, MPA
CHD 3 - Central Luzon San Fernando, Pampanga (045) 4552324; (045) 9617649; (045) 9617654 Adelina Cabrera, RN
CHD 4-A Calabarzon QMMC Compound, Project 4, Quezon City (02) 4403372 Maria Luisa M. Malana, RN
CHD 4-B Mimaropa Quirino Hospital Compound, Quezon City (02) 9134650; (02) 9115025 Ma. Teresa Castillo, MD
CHD 5- Bicol First Park Subdidivion, Daraga, Albay (052) 4830840
loc 517/516
Carla A. Orozco, MD, MPH
CHD 6 - Western Visayas Q. Abeto St., Mandurriao, Iloilo City (033)3210364 Renilyn P. Reyes, MD
CHD 7 - Central Visayas Osmeña Blvd., Cebu City (032) 4187633 Nayda P. Bautista,MD, MPH
CHD 8- Eastern Visayas Candahug, Palo , Leyte (053)3235025 Lilibeth Andrade, MD
CHD 9 - Zamboanga Peninsula Upper Calarian, Zamboanga City (062)9830314-15 Nerissa B. Gutierrez, RN
CHD 10 - Northern Mindanao J.V. Seriña St., Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City 088-22- 727400 Ellenietta HMV N. Gamolo, MD, MPH
CHD 11 - Davao Region J.P. Laurel Avenue, Davao City (082) 3051907; (082) 2214011 Ma. Clarose M. Mascardo, RN, MPH
CHD 12 - Central Mindanao ARMM Compound, Gov. Guttierez Ave, Cotabato City (064) 4217436; (064) 4218053 Lucy Decio, RN
CHD CARAGA Pizarro St. cor. Narra Rd. Butuan City (085) 3411452 Glynna B. Andoy, MD, MPH
CHD CAR BGHMC Compound, Baguio City (074) 4428096; (074) 4445255 Nicolas R. Gordo, Jr, MD
CHD NCR Welfareville Compound, Brgy. Addition Hills, Mandaluyong City (02) 7183097; (02) 5354521 Ma. Paz P. Corrales, MD
CHD ARMM ORG Compound, Cotabato City (064) 4217703 Dayan Sangcopan, MD

Reunion of Saved Babies, October 10, 2010 at the UP Bahay ng Alumni, Quezon City


Newborn Screening Poster



Continuing Education for Health Professionals, October 4, 2011 in La Union



The Heel Prick Method



NBS Awarding Ceremony

October 3, 2011

Traders Hotel