OCTA's activities 'not sponsored, endorsed or organized' by UP

Published August 6, 2021, 8:38 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz


The University of the Philippines (UP) on Friday, Aug. 6, clarified that it has “not sponsored, endorsed, or organized” the activities of the OCTA Research, an independent group that regularly issues findings and recommendations on coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

UP was reacting to the House Resolution 2075 that seeks an investigation into OCTA’s credentials and background.

The resolution issued on Aug. 3 also aims to “validate the connection between OCTA Research and the University of the Philippines System, as the former publicized a partnership which the latter seemingly denied.”

“UP is a large community of scholars, researchers, and experts in multiple fields. By and large, members of the UP community are free and encouraged to conduct research and harness their expertise in the service of the Filipino people in any way they deem appropriate,” UP said in a statement issued on Friday.

“However, there is a difference between the endeavors of individual UP researchers and the projects and programs of official UP academic and research units, with the latter bearing the University’s name, symbol, and approval. Initiatives involving particular UP faculty and research staff members, such as the OCTA Research Team’s polling, research, and consultation activities, have no connection to UP and are not sponsored, endorsed, or organized by the University,” it added.

The University said it is currently taking steps to enhance protocols “to protect its name, symbols, colors, and brand in public.”

“Should questions about the UP credentials of individuals and groups arise, UP authorities are ready to verify such credentials should it be necessary,” it added.

In a statement issued on Aug. 5, OCTA already explained that the group is an independent and interdisciplinary policy and public opinion research organization composed of alumni and professionals from UP and the University of Santo Tomas.

“The findings and recommendations of our research do not reflect the official position of the institutions aforementioned,” it pointed out.

Likewise, OCTA said they welcome public inquiries and fora, which they consider an opportunity to “engage the public and disseminate our research work as well as to elaborate on the importance of scientific and evidence-based policymaking.”

It reiterated that it is one with the government, private sector, and the entire country in efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.