HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

The number of medical professionals working to help address the needs of persons with mentalillness had grown steadily over the years, beginning with the establishment of the Hospicio de San Jose in the 19th century. Considered as the first relatively modern asylum in the country, admission to the center required standard medical observation and examination of patients prior to their entry. Provincial or city physicians (medicos titulares) who had been known to use some psychopathological terminologies traceable to European schools of thought (e.g Psychoanalysis). However, a formal training in Psychiatry had not been a requisite for these medicos titulares andthus, may have compromised their abilities to make an astute assessment of mental illness possible.

By the 20th century, with the training of physicians in both Psychiatry and Neurology flourishing in Europe and then in the United States, training abroad for Filipino doctors interested in the field became much sought after. A number of graduates from these training centers had gone back to the country and established their practice here. Among these are such trailblazers as Dr. Jose Fernandez, Dr. Leopoldo Pardo, Dr. Cesar Catindig, Dr. Romeo Gustilo, Dr. Melchor Javier, Dr. Cesarea Goduco-Aguilar, Dr. Jaime Zaguiire and Dr. Conrado Aramil. This elite group banded together and formed the Philippine society of Psychiatry and Neurology (PSPN) in 1938, with Dr. Aramil serving as president for the first two years. From a handful of members, the society’s membership steadily grew to a hundred fifty by its second decade.

The aims of the PSPN include:  (1) to give psychiatry and neurology a strong foundation with high professional and ethical standard in the medical field; (2) to maintain and improve the  mental health of the population, (3) to improve the therapeutic approaches in the management of psychiatric  and neurological conditions; (4) to extend assistance in the training programs for psychiatry and neurology, and (5) to encourage and extend aid to researches. To help achieve these goals, the PSPN maintained a friendly and cooperative relationship with other medical societies, including that of the Philippine Mental Health Association.

However, the pressing need to have a forum where psychiatrists could get together to confront issues, exchange information, share and discuss clinical problems became fervid inevitably. Thus, late in 1961, a group of psychiatrists under the chairmanship of Dr. Virgilio Santiago founded the “Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry in the Philippines” (GAPP). Essentially an informal organization without a written constitution nor an election code to speak of, this small group held regular monthly meetings to help address the distinctive needs of the psychiatrists. Since most of its members belonged to the PSPN as well, the GAPP maintained close links with the older society and was never formalized. However, the impetus to form a separate league solely for psychiatrists was already evident, with the creation of the GAPP portentous, as subsequent events would reveal.

The PHILIPPINE PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION (PPA)

The First Decade (1973 to 1983)

In a decisive move, a select group of pioneering psychiatrists broke away from the PSPN to form their own organization (PPA) to form their own organization, the Philippine Psychiatric Association (PPA). Inducted in 1973. Its first set of officers included such luminaries as Dr. Lourdes Ladrido-Ignacio, who served as founding president; Dr. Virgilio Santiago; dr. Baltazar Reyes; Dr. Araceli Maravilla; Dr. Rey San Pedro; Dr. Bella Balza, and Dr. Sol Balein. The PPA became an affiliate member of the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) in the following year.

The fledgling organization made efforts to assert the practice of Psychiatry in the medical profession as exemplified by the theme of its first annual convention, “Psychiatry and Its Relevance to the Times, “held at the Hyatt hotel in November 1974. In the years that followed, this unwavering thrust of the association was further accentuated and elaborated. Unique to its practice as a medical specialty,  the role of Psychiatry in social issues, particularly those pertaining to children and the family, became the focus of the association’s third annual convention held in April 1976.

On its sixth year, the PPA’s efforts turned towards education and training. Among its accomplishments in this regard were the following: (1) the establishment of the first residency training program in Psychiatry at the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH); (2) the development of an educational curriculum for medical students, and; (3) the active participation in international conferences such as the child and Adolescent conference in the Far East held in Sydney, Australia as well as hosting the second Pacific congress in Psychiatry.

Towards the end of its first decade, the PPA responded enthusiastically to the world Health Organization’s call for the incorporation of mental health knowledge and understanding in general health care. Its active participation in international conferences such as the ASEAN Federation for Psychiatry and the Mental Health Profession served, not only to lend additional prestige but more importantly, helped strengthen the relevance of psychiatry as it applies to the region’s setting.

The Second Decade (1983 to 1993)

For most of its second decade, the PPA expanded its bid to include advocacy and service-oriented activities.  The PPA OutreachProgram in coordination with Philippine Academy of Family Physicians was set up while the move to make Psychiatry a separate subject in the Philippine Licensure Board Examination for Physicians was upheld. Advocacy work for the inclusion of Psychiatric care in MEDICARE coverage was likewise initiated.

Promoting education and training remained high in the association’s list of priorities as exemplified by the following: (1) the inclusion of Child Psychiatry as regular subspecialty topic in the annual convention; (2) the accreditation of the post-graduate residency programs in Psychiatry, and; (3) the holding of the first post-graduate course in Psychiatry in November 1985, to pre-empt the annual convention for that year. Carrying the theme “ Basic Neuroscience in Psychiatry, “ topics included were the following: neurotransmitters, psychopharmacology, EEG in clinical practice, genetics and epidemiology of common psychiatric disorders.

Initial efforts were undertaken to involve other national associations such as the Philippine Neurological Association (PNA), the Philippine Psychological Association and the Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) in the association’s monthly scientific meetings in order to facilitate dialogues with all branches of Medicine. Such endeavours were meant to rediscover links with our non- psychiatric colleagues and emphasize to them the relevance of the discipline in their own clinical practice.

Another first was the presentation of scientific research papers, all original works done by Filipino psychiatrists during the annual convention held in January 1989. Clearly the previous efforts made by the association to sharpen the skills of its members through its promulgation of education and training was beginning to pay off.

The PPA gained more international prominence as it successfully hosted the ASEAN Congress in Psychiatry in January 1993 and made possible the recognition of its fellows  by the World Psychiatric Association.

The Third decade (1993 to 2003)

Decentralization and de-stigmatization of Psychiatry became the focus of the association when it entered its third decade. Advocacy work was at the forefront with the PPA making representations in both Houses of Congress to push for the inclusion of Psychiatry as a separate subject in the Medical Licensure Examinations. The actual draft of regulations overseeing the inclusion of Psychiatric care in the MEDICARE coverage was presented. Major concerns in relation to the National Health program were forwarded to the Senate Committee on Health for study.

Efforts toward de-stigmatization were likewise undertaken via the following measures:  (1) carrying on the PPA outreach program and the monthly scientific meetings; (2) creation of the association’s first newsletter, The PPA Newslink, and; (3) maintaining the association’s radio program, “ The PPA Presents,”as its aired over K-Love 1494 every 11AM to 1PM from Mondays to Fridays.

The association remained sympathetic to its members’ varied needs. Developments in biological Psychiatry as well as in the different sub-specialties prompted the necessity to diversify. At the same, through a strategic planning workshop, the PPA succeeded in mapping out its mission-vision. Likewise, a proposed code of ethics was presented to the general membership.

In its continued support of education and training, a multi-sectoral meeting was held to work on a core-curriculum for psychiatry and the pursuance of the accreditation of training programs. The first Resident’s Forum was held while the Resident’s Quiz Competition was established to enhance camaraderie. Revisions of the PPA constitution were also initiated.

By 1998, just in time for the PPA’s 25th year, amendments to the constitution were finally ratified while other noteworthy projects such as the documentation of the association’s resolutions and codification of the election procedures were launched. The Association’s official hymn was likewise composed during this time and continues to be played and sung to by its members during scientific and major conferences.

Despite these achievements, the PPA looks forward the enjoying another fruitful 25 years, as the association prepares to meet the challenges of the new millennium with renewed zeal. Reiterating its commitment to the ideals of the organization’s founders, the PPA has identified its goals as follows:

  • To promote the PPA’s leadership in the mental health sector both locally and globally by establishing linkages via scientific meetings, extensive media campaign and outreach programs as well as reinforcing our ASEAN connection through fellowship grants and exchange programs;
  • To expand organizational tasks to research, training and advocacy through activities a such as the Residents’ Forum, which helped established the commonality of the mission/vision statements of the individual residency programs of different training institutions, and;
  • To strengthen the PPA’S organizational system and broaden its membership base by facilitating regional representation through consensus group meetings, establishing communication for its members that emphasizes contribution to the community as a greater interaction and formulating systems which includes the Internet, promoting guidelines major criterion for status promotion.

Refusing to rest on its laurels, the association continues to forge ahead, with its initial efforts centered on bridging the gap between traditional psychoanalytic concepts and the exciting new developments in the Neurosciences. Picking up from where its past leaderships left off, the PPA’s present set of the officers endeavour to support the mental health professionals’ call for the destigmatization of mental illness by the public and medical community via its media campaign and comprehensive psycho-educational programs for non-psychiatric medical colleagues.

The Regional Consensus Group (RCG), which was initiated in 1998 with Dr. Roderico V. Ramos as its first chair, was envisioned primarily to pursue the decentralization of the PPA’s operations, continues to serve as channel for proper dissemination of information regarding the association’s programs for research and training. Among its early achievements is the holding of four regional symposia on psychological incapacity, the results of which served as the basis for the PPA Position Paper and Guidelines on Psychological Incapacity.

The Fourth Decade Onwards (2003 to present)

The PPA celebrated its 30th year with renewed vision of the future. In time with the move of the PPA office to a much bigger and better unit at the same address, the move towards greater involvement in media and advocacy was also initiated. A speakers’ Bureau workshop entitled “Promoting Mindfulness in Media” was held on September 29 and 30, 2003 in Angeles City, Pampanga. From there, a draft of proposed media regulating bodies such as the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP), movie and Television Regulatory and Classification Board (MTRCB), the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), the National Press Club (NPC)  and Radio Veritas on December 12,2003.

Likewise, the PPA, in collaboration with Pfizer Philippines, launched it new website on July 24, 2003. This new website, www. ppa.ph,  has new features and functions that made the PPA more accessible and more capable of interactivity.

The PPA also played host to the 9th ASEAN Federation for Psychiatry and Mental Health Congress and the 13th ASEAN forum on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry from December 3 to 6, 2003 at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City. It is through the efforts of two PPA luminaries, namely Dr. Cornelio Banaag (President of the ASEAN Congress) and Dr. Bernardo L. Conde that made this international event possible.

Highlights of 2004 included the launching of the first official magazine of the PPA, the “ Mindlink” during that year’s Annual Convention. To honor its outstanding committee tasked to give recognition to PPA members with exemplary achievements was created. The first awardees were: Dr. Cornelio Banaag as Most Outstanding Teacher in Psychiatry; Dr. Bernardo Conde as Most Outstanding Researcher in Psychiatry.  Dr. Lourdes Ignacio as most Outstanding Psychiatrist in Community Service, and; Dr. Baltazar Reyes as Distinguished Psychiatrist of the Year.

In 2005, the PPA created a Sub-Committee for ethical Guidelines between the Psychiatrist and the Pharmaceutical Industry with Dr. Margaret Qurijero as chair. A 2 day workshop was held on June 15-16, 2005 from which a draft of the guidelines was approved and eventually presented in a plenary session during that year’s Mid-year convention. Always looking towards improving itself, the PPA also created, under the Committee on Accreditation Criteria for Residency training Programs that was submitted and previously approved, and (2) to draft Implementation Guidelines.

Another landmark event was the participation of the PPA in the preparation of training modules that will be incorporated in the curriculum of the PNP-special Action forces (SAF) Training School. The series of collaborative efforts culminated in the Sensitivity and Team Building Seminar with the first batch of PNP-SAF personnel on January 16-18, 2006 at the Subic Naval Base in Olongapo City.

With a membership that to date, amounts to 401 professionals, composed of 4 Honorary members, 23 Life members, 138 fellows, 410 diplomates, 155 regular members and 45 junior members, the PPA continues to look after the needs of the Filipino psychiatrists as it answers the call for diversity in clinical practice while keeping the solidarity of its members intact, remaining true to its main goals. As the last verses of the PPA hymn puts it: “One dream, one hope, one vision…. we will serve our motherland.”

The PHILIPPINE PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION (PPA)

1973-1975
Officers
President: Dr. Lourdes Ladrido-Ignacio
Vice-President: Dr. Virgilio Santiago
Secretary/Treasurer: Dr. Araceli Maravilla
Asst. Secretary:  Dr. Rey San Pedro
Asst. Treasurer:  Dr. Bella Balza
PRO: Dr. Sol Balein

1975-1976
Officers
President:  Dr. Dr. Virgilio Santiago
Vice-President: Dr. Baltazar v. Reyes
Secretary/Treasurer: Dr. Araceli Maravilla
Asst. Secretary:  Dr. Floricel Evangelists
Asst. Treasurer:  Dr. Cecilia Villegas
PRO: Dr. Alejandro Umali

1979-1980
Officers
President:  Dr. Baltazar v. Reyes Jr.
Vice-President:  Dr. Cornelio G. Banaag, Jr.
Secretary/Treasurer:  Dr. Araceli Maravilla
Asst. Secretary:  Dr. Cecilia Villegas
Asst. Treasurer Dr. Cornelio G. Banaag, Jr.
PRO:  Dr. Romualdo Anselmo

1980-1981
Officers
President:  Dr. Cornelio G. Banaag, Jr.
Vice-President:  Dr. Cornelio G. Banaag, Jr.
Secretary/Treasurer:  Dr. Araceli Maravilla
Asst. Secretary:  Dr. Brigida Buenaseda
Asst. Treasurer:  Dr. Odita Yatco
PRO:  Dr. Pacita Salceda

1981-1982
Officers
President:  Dr. Benjamin V. Marte
Vice-President:  Dr. Cynthia Bruce
Secretary/Treasurer:  Dr. Araceli Maravilla
Asst. Secretary:   Dr. Brigida Buenaseda
Asst. Treasurer:   Dr. Odita Yatco

1983-1984
Officers
President:  Dr. Cornelio G. Banaag, Jr.
Vice-President:  Dr.  Gilberto Gamez
Secretary/Treasurer:  Dr. Araceli Maravilla
Asst. Secretary:   Dr. Cecilia Villegas
Asst. Treasurer:   Dr. Sergia Abueva
PRO: Dr. Toribio Jovellanos

1985-1986
Officers
President:  Dr.  Gilberto Gamez
Vice-President:  Dr. Brigida Buenaseda
Secretary/Treasurer: Dr. Araceli Maravilla
Asst. Secretary:   Dr. Lourna Teresita Laraya
Asst. Treasurer:   Dr. Segia Abueva
PRO: Dr. Toribio Jovellanos

1986-1987
Officers
President: Dr. Brigida S. Buenaseda
Vice-President:  Dr. Vicente Cabuquit
Secretary/Treasurer:  Dr. Araceli Maravilla
Asst. Secretary:  Dr. Lourna Teresita Laraya
Asst. Treasurer:   Dr. Segia Abueva
PRO:  Dr. Robert Walter
1987-1988
Officers
President:  Dr. Vicente S. Cabuquit
Vice-President:  Dr. Robert Walter
Secretary/Treasurer:  Dr. Araceli Maravilla
Asst. Secretary:  Dr. Lourna Teresita Laraya
Asst. Treasurer:   Dr. Segia Abueva
PRO:  Dr. Mariano Mutuc

1988-1989
Officers
President:  Dr. Robert Walter

1989-1990
Officers
President:  Dr. A. Efren B. Reyes
Secretary/Treasurer:  Dr. A. Efren B. Reyes
Asst. Secretary:  Dr. A. Efren B. Reyes
Asst. Treasurer:   Dr. Jose V. Cruz
PRO:  Dr. Ponciano Jerez

1990-1991
Officers
President:  Dr. A. Efren B. Reyes
Vice-President:  Dr. Dante Abcede
Secretary/Treasurer: Dr. Lourna Teresita Laraya
Asst. Secretary/Auditor:  Dr. Gabino Ranoa
Asst. Treasurer:   Dr. Simeon Marasigan
PRO:  Dr. Ponciano Jerez

1993-1994
Officers
President:  Dr. Ponciano Z. Jerez Jr.
Vice-President:  Dr. Cynthia Leynes
Secretary/Treasurer:  Dr. Jercyl Leilani Demeterio
Asst. Secretary:  Dr. June Lopez
Asst. Treasurer:   Dr. A. Efren B. Reyes
PRO:  Dr. Bernardo Jorge Conde

1994-1995
Officers
President:  Dr. Cynthia R. Leynes
Vice-President:  Dr. Bernardo Jorge Conde
Secretary/Treasurer:  Dr. Jercyl Leilani Demeterio
Asst. Secretary:  Dr. Dr. Aida Muncada
Asst. Treasurer:   Dr. Aida Muncada
PRO:  Dr. Benita Ponio

1995-1996
Officers
President:  Dr. Bernardo Jorge Conde
Vice-President:  Dr. Jercyl Leilani Demeterio
Secretary/Treasurer:  Dr. Aida Muncada
Asst. Secretary:  Dr.  Aida Muncada
Asst. Treasurer:   Dr. Victor Vinluan
PRO:  Dr. Robert Buenaventura

1996-1997
Officers
President:  Dr. Jercyl Leilani Demeterio
Vice-President:  Dr. Alma Jimenez
Secretary/Treasurer:  Dr.  Venus Serra-Arain
Asst. Secretary:  Dr.  Angela Halili-Jao
Asst. Treasurer:   Dr. Ivanhoe Escartin
PRO:  Dr. Anselmo Tronco

1998-1999
Officers
President:  Dr. Alma Jimenez
Vice-President:  Dr.  Edgardo Tolentino
Secretary/Treasurer:  Dr.  Anselmo Tronco
Asst. Secretary:  Dr.  Angela Halili-Jao
Asst. Treasurer:   Dr.
PRO:  Dr. Roderico Ramos
1999-2000
Officers
President:  Dr. Simeon M. Marasigan
Vice-President:  Dr. Edgardo Tolentino
Secretary:  Dr. Anselmo Tronco
Treasurer:  Dr. Angela Halili Jao
PRO:   Dr. Roderico Ramos

2000-2001
Officers
President:  Dr. Pureza Trinidad Onate
Vice-President:  Dr. Edgardo Tolentino
Secretary:  Dr. Anselmo Tronco
Treasurer:  Dr. Angela Halili Jao
PRO:   Dr. Roderico Ramos

2001-2002
Officers
President:  Dr.  Venus Serra-Arain
Vice-President:  Dr. Dino S. C. Pena
Secretary:  Dr. Jocelyn Yatco- Bautista
Treasurer:  Dr. Robert Capistrano
Auditor: Dr. A. Efren Reyes
PRO:   Dr. Michelene Escobar-Buot
2003-2004
Officers
President:  Dr. Jocelyn Yatco- Bautista
Vice-President:  Dr. Imelda Morales-Martin
Secretary:  Dr. Antonio M. Gauzon
Treasurer:  Dr. Sonia Castro-Rodriguez
Auditor:  Dr. A. Efren B. Reyes
PRO:   Dr. Sonia Castro-Rodriguez

2004-2005
Officers
President:  Dr. Imelda Morales-Martin
Vice-President:  Dr Sonia Castro-Rodriguez
Secretary:  Dr. Sonia Castro-Rodriguez
Treasurer:  Dr. Dino SC. Pena
Auditor:  Dr. A. Efren B. Reyes
PRO:   Dr. Dulce Lizza Reyes-Sahagun

2005-2006
Officers
President:  Dr. Sonia Castro-Rodriguez
Vice-President:  Dulce Lizza Reyes-Sahagun
Secretary:  Dr. Ma. Luz Casimiro-Querubin
Treasurer:  Dr. Dino SC. Pena
Auditor:  Dr Imelda B. Batar
PRO:   Dr. Felicitas Artiaga-Soriano

2006-2007
Officers
President:  Dr. Pureza Trinidad-Onate
Vice-President:  Dr. Felicitas Artiaga-Soriano
Secretary:  Dr. Dinah Pacquing-Nadera
Treasurer:  Dr. Hilaria R. Vera
Auditor:  Dr. Eleanor Lacuna-Ronquillio
PRO:   Dr. Noel V. Reyes