Providing the Impetus for a Better Filipino Physical Therapy Practice
The PPTA was founded on December 8, 1964 by the first BSPT graduates from the University of the Philippines School of Allied Medical Professions (UP SAMP), the first academic institution to offer a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Therapy in the Philippines. This association was then seen as a venue to promote the professional advancement and to provide continuing educational growth for physical therapists in the country. Thus the objectives of the Association at the time of founding were as follows:
a. To foster strong and active fellowship among its members; to participate in all endeavors for the advancement of members;
b. To contribute to the implementation of lawful activities that promote professional development;
c. To aid health service by providing knowledge and service to the disabled community and the general public; and
d. To help eradicate malpractice in the field of physical therapy.
Aside from the UP SAMP graduates, the moving forces behind the establishment of PPTA were the following:
Dr. Benjamin Tamesis, then director of UP SAMP and National Orthopedic Hospital
Dr. Guillermo Damian, then Secretary of UP SAMP, later to become its Dean
Prof. Robert Jacques, World Health Organization consultant in physical therapy
Lt. Col. Jesus Mendoza, MD, then President of the Philippine Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
The founding President is Mr. Jose I. Inoturan.
The Association was incorporated on December 26, 1964. One of the early fruits of labor of the Association was the enactment of the Republic Act 5680 (Philippine Physical and Occupational Therapy Law) on January 21, 1969.
PPTA was accredited by the Professional Regulation Commission as a national organization for physical therapists on May 31, 1978 (with accreditation number 29). The PPTA acquired membership in the World Confederation for Physical Therapy on May 24, 1967 and became founding member of the Asian Confederation for Physical Therapy.
Dynamism in the profession dictated corresponding changes in the mission and objectives of the Association. Recent activities and accomplishments of the PPTA were designed and implemented toward the above purposes. These include provision of continuing professional education programs; development and maintenance of excellent standards of practice in the Philippines through collaborative efforts with the PRC Board of Examiners for OT and PT; consultation and collaboration with the Department of Health, National Council for Disability Affairs, and other government and non-government organizations; participation in the formulation of principles and position statements of the World Physiotherapy (formerly World Confederation for Physical Therapy) to echo its stand on health care and/or social issues; and the initiation of special interest groups (SIGs) within the Association.
The year 1998 was a very significant year for the profession in view of the signing of the Presidential Proclamation No. 15, which declared every 8th day of September as National Physical Therapy Day. With this declaration, the Philippines celebrates National PT Day with the rest of the world and hopefully this proclamation paves the way to increased awareness of the public on what physical therapy can do for them.
In 1999, much of the efforts of the Association have been channelled toward redefining the physical therapy profession through amendment of the RA 5680.
The 7th Asian Confederation for Physical Therapy International Congress in Manila was hosted by the PPTA last September 8-10, 2000. Much of the succeeding years was spent on addressing internal concerns and local issues, as well as furthering the Filipino physical therapists’ desire to participate and organize. In 2003, PPTA launched its very first provincial chapter in Pampanga. And in December 2006, the clamor for new knowledge led the PPTA to re-launch its SIGs. To date, PPTA has active SIGs on manual therapy and sports, paediatrics, neurology-gerontology, and education.
In 2004, the PPTA drafted its Vision-Mission-Goals 2010 (VMG 2010). This was reviewed and revised in 2008, and is currently the guide to the Association’s growth, giving direction to its officers and members.
The PPTA holds its General Assembly and National Convention every September, and its founding anniversary every December. However, the convention is celebrated in December every three years to coincide with the Gawad Inoturan Awards during the PPTA foundation celebration. The Gawad Inoturan is given to outstanding physical therapists to recognize their various contributions to physical therapy.
The PPTA 2009 National Convention and General Assembly is on September 12-13 at the Traders Hotel, Roxas Boulevard, Manila.