The Philippine Public Health Association is a nationwide organization of public health workers. Potential members include even those who are not in the government service. At present, its membership consists of some health officials and employees at the Department of Health and its bureaus, the medical, para-medical and administrative personnel in some DOH retained medical centers and tertiary hospitals and health officials and employees at the Center for Health Development offices.
At the local government level, the members are the health officials and employees in some provincial, city and municipal health offices and the medical, para-medical and administrative personnel in some devolved hospitals, including the barangay health workers (BHWs).
Purposes of the Association
The association was organized in 1932 and registered at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 1964. Its membership reached the peak of 40,000 just prior to the devolution of basic health services to LGUs in 1993.
As amended in 2005, the PPHA Articles of Incorporation provides the purposes of the association as follows:
- Help upgrade the standard and delivery of public health services;
- Promote and protect the rights and interests of its members provided it is not engaged in government union activities;
- Contribute towards the solution of public health problems through policy-making and/or coordination with national government agencies, local government units (LGUs) and non-government organizations (NGOs);
- Generate through research and studies and disseminate knowledge concerning public health;
- Establish and foster national and international relations, cooperation and goodwill among the health workers, and;
- Receive donations and engage in fund raising projects to support its activities, subject to the limitations provided by law.
Predecessors of Incumbent PPHA President
Gil G. Cawad of DOH-CHD Davao is the incumbent national President of PPHA, who started his term in 2012. He succeeded Dr. Alexis C. Albao who got fist elected President in 2008 and re-elected in 2010. Dr. Albao was preceded in the position by well-known officials of the Department of Health.
To name a few previous occupants of the position, Dr. Albao was preceded by Dr. Lydia Depra Ramos who became PPHA President from 2005 to 2008 and Dr. Dolores C. Castillo who occupied the position from 2002 to 2005. Drs. Ramos and Castillo were Director IV of the Department of Health when they were elected PPHA President. Dr. Castillo was later promoted to Assistant Secretary of Health.
Dr. Castillo was preceded by DOH Undersecretary Milagros L Fernandez, who was in turn preceded by DOH Undersecretary Carmencita N. Reodica, who later became Secretary of Health from 1996-1998. Dr. Reodica was preceded in the position by DOH Undersecretary Manuel L. Roxas.
Previous Secretaries of Health in PPHA
Dr. Clemente S. Gatmaitan was PPHA President in 1961 when he articulated the purposes of PPHA in his message entitled “The Association-An Assessment “, to wit: “The Philippine Public Health Association seeks to raise the standards of public health in our country, to contribute towards the solution of public health problems, to disseminate knowledge concerning public health, and by encouraging research to generate new knowledge, to cooperate actively with the organizations dedicated to the improvement of public health, to help advance the science and arts of preventive medicine and public health, and to foster friendship and good will among public health workers ”.
Dr. Gatmaitan later became Secretary of Health from 1971-1979. During his incumbency, the PPHA had 700 members.
Dr. Jesus C. Azurin and Dr. Amadeo H. Cruz, occupied the position as members of the PPHA Board in 1956-1957 and 1963-1965, respectively. They were the Director of Bureau of Quarantine and Director of Health Services then and became the Minister of Health from 1981-1986 and Secretary of Health from 1968-1971, respectively.
Roles of PPHA in the past
The PPHA had collaborated with other health organizations in 1956 like Leagues of Provincial and City Health Officers, Philippine Association of Sanitary Inspectors, Philippine Association of Nutrition, Philippine Association of Occupational medicine, Health Education Association of the Philippines, Filipino Nurses’ Association and Philippine Medical Association.
At that time, Dr. Romeo Y. Atienza of Philippine National Red Cross was the President of PPHA.
PPHA had collaborated with Alliance of Health Workers and some health organizations in advocating the passage of R.A 7305, otherwise known as the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers and R.R 7883, otherwise known as the Barangay Health Workers’ Benefits and Incentives Act of 1995.
Other distinguished personalities in PPHA
Some of the most distinguished personalities in the PPHA were as follows:
Dr. Rufino Abriol-A presidential awadee in 1955 for his contribution to public health in the Philippines. He was PPHA president from 1950-1955 and the first Filipino Director of the Bureau of Quarantine.
The following 1955 Filipino Scientists Presidential Award of Merit for Outstanding Contribution to Science,namely:
- Mr. Francisco E. Baisas-contribution on taxonomy and ecology of Philippine mosquitoes
- Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez-in leprology
- Dr. Trinidad P. Pesigan-field of snail fever
- Dr. Armando Clemente-field of physical and general chemistry
- Dr. Manuel L. Roxas-field of sugar technology
- Dr. Francisco M. Fronda-field of poultry husbandry
- Dr. Zecarias de Jesus- field of animal parasitology
- Dr. Francisco O. Santos-field of nutrition among Filipinos
- Dr. Agerico B. M. Sison-field of internal medicine
PPHA was finally registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 1964 under the incumbency of Dr. Trinidad A. Gomez of OHEPT of the Department of Health as PPHA President. During the time, the membership of PPHA was extended to private practitioners.