The establishment of a Research Ethics Committee (REC) is a significant step to ensure the standard procedures in ethics review process that protect human participants. However, in instances when RECs are not yet established, surrogate activities are practiced by some institutions. The objective of this study was to identify prevailing research ethical practices of research directors and faculty researchers in the absence of a research ethics committee in their respective academic institutions. Specifically, it aimed to explore the participants’ 1) experiences in research subject protection and 2) challenges when there is no existing REC in the institution. Participants were selected from universities in Manila City whose institutions did not have RECs at the time of the conduct of this study. Key informant interviews and focus group discussions were used as approaches for data collection. The authors used NVivo to organize data from the transcribed audio-recorded interviews and were analyzed utilizing a basic interpretive qualitative approach. Based on the results, surrogate practices of participants involved (1) providing “informed consent forms” to target participants and the (2) roles of different personalities in the evaluation/conduct of the research paper. Implications of this study and recommendations were likewise discussed in this paper.