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Western Visayas Chapter


PPS Western Visayas Chapter became a new chapter in 2016. However its history dated back to 1971 when a chapter in Western Visayas region was organized by twelve paediatricians in Bacolod City as the pioneer members. It was then called as Negros Occidental Chapter.

Dr. Salud Javelosa was the founding president. The highlight of her tenure was community involvement and service. The first major participation of the chapter was during the 8th PPS annual convention when Dr. Javelosa was a plenary speaker on the topic “Community Pediatrics”

Five years later, Dr. Natividad Aromin took over the presidency in 1976. New members from Iloilo and other parts of Panay joined, thus the name was changed to Negros Occidental – Western Visayas Chapter. The chapter won for the first time the most outstanding small chapter award due to projects undertaken in child advocacy.

The first seminar on primary health care was held during the term of Dr. Hester Villanueva. in 1979. Dr. Villanueva and Dr. Aromin represented the chapter in the International Pediatric Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The chapter was awarded the most active affiliate society of The Negros occidental Medical Society in 1980.

In 1981, Dr. Marie Casenas became the first president from Iloilo City. Information dissemination on preventive pediatrics and nutrition through radio programs and lectures were emphasized during her term. That year, the chapter won the most outstanding small chapter award for community service.

Dr. Suzette Elegado was elected president in 1983. She initiated the Regional Systems Network (RESYNET) program of the mother society. During her tenure, seminars on school health among public school teachers and various lectures on oral rehydration, breastfeeding and immunization were conducted. The chapter won the outstanding chapter award for two consecutive years. In 1985. the first male president of the chapter was elected in the person of Dr. Manuel Posecion. One of the chapter’s outstanding accomplishments during his term was setting up the poison control justify at the Iloilo Doctors Hospital emergency room complex to service the whole of Western Visayas. The chapter for the 4th time was awarded the most outstanding chapter award in community service.

Dr. Lourdes Espina took over the helm in 1986. Under her leadership, the chapter launched its first scholarship program for high school students. The chapter also participated in a collaborative study on national anthropometric measurement for Filipino children. Outreach programs to different barangays were also intensified.

The term of Dr. Ma. Victoria Villareal from 1987 – 1988 started with “Adopt a school Project” in Barrio Obrero offering free elementary education to low income families. There were regular appearances in the local TV program”Ikaw Kabuhi Ko” with lectures on child health. Medical services were also extended to various government and charitable institutions like immunization and deworming. In 1988, Dr. Lucia Iledan was the chapter president. Under her stewardship, the chapter embarked on an intensive community development program. It adopted one barangay as recipient of its various projects bio-intensive gardening, chlorination of water wells, mother’s class and deworming. For its efforts, the chapter won the Child Advocacy award in 1989 and the Community Service Award in 1990.

Dr. Doris Mendoza was installed as the 10th president in 1990. During her term, the chapter won the most outstanding chapter in child advocacy award for its child survival activities, promotion of pro-child environment in the community, program for health care of street children and provision of their education and recreation and measures against child abuse as well as speech and hearing impairment. In 1992, Dr. Imelda Nepomuceno continued the activities on child advocacy. Information dissemination on nutrition and breastfeeding through radio talks and lectures were intensified. The chapter received citations from the Negros Occidental Medical Society and Rotary Club of Bacolod West for the solid support the local PPS chapter extended to them in all their civic action programs.

Intervention programs for street children were advocated during the term of Dr. Emiliana Carmona in 1993 to 1995. Street children from 13 barangays in Iloilo City were targeted with value formation programs, medical missions and encouragement for empowerment through parental value formation activities and networking with local NGOs in the city. The chapter helped to establish the Iloilo Friends of the Handicap Foundation initiated by Dr. Linda Que whose activities were directed towards information dissemination, facilitation of diagnostic and therapeutic intervention and special education programs..

Child advocacy remained the top priority during the term of Dr. Peter Sogono from 1995 – 1997. Activities undertaken were programs for the protection of children under difficult circumstances and projects for the handicapped and abused child. The chapter also embarked on activities geared towards improving the medical education of PPS members, government physicians and private practitioners.

Dr. James Woo assumed the presidency in 1997 – 1999. The highlights of his term were: strengthening of the integrated residency training program of the different participating hospitals through grand rounds, clinico-pathologic conferences and integrated lecture series, holding of mini post graduate courses sponsored by each participating hospital which also served as a fund raising activity of the said hospital; community involvement through the “Dulot ni Nanay lecture series conducting lecture workshops on child health care community initiative which aimed to promote mother baby friendly initiatives and to educate community based health workers on mother empowering programs, social involvement through the PPS Chorale which won the grand prize during the PPS Golden Anniversary Celebration choral competition.

During the term of Dr. Antonia Gensoli in 1999 – 2001, the chapter helped strengthen DOH activities disseminating information on the principles of Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI). It embarked on “Baga Project” wherein free antiTB drugs were supplied to PPD positive children. A directory of local PPS members was also initiated during Dr. Gensoli’s term.

Advocacy projects for the community were continued during the term of Dr. Stella Paspe from 2001 – 2003. The integrated residency training program was further strengthened with the creation of uniform guidelines for the promotion of pediatric residents. Another accomplishment was the approval of the criteria for good standing among local chapter members. Continuing medical education was also a top priority. The first postgraduate course and parallel lay symposium was held last July 2002 with a big success. With the scientific lectures and symposia it sponsored, the chapter won the most outstanding chapter in continuing medical education award in 2003.

Dr. Diana Nandwani succeeded the position in 2003. During her one year term, she was able to accomplish so much that the chapter was again voted as the most outstanding chapter in community service for the year 2004 for its series of immunization activities to orphanages and other institutions and its active participation in the campaign for a clean and green environment.

Community involvement was the thrust during the term of Dr. Joseph Aldric Gaspar in 2004 – 2006. Integrated Community Pediatric Residents Training Rotation Program was established in Igbaras, Iloilo.. Along with it, the Total Newborn Package Program was initiated and lectures on primary health care for Barangay Health Workers were conducted. To preserve and maintain the Maasin Watershed, the “Adopt a Mountain Project” was put in place. Due to these activities, the chapter was awarded the most outstanding chapter award for community service.

The primary focus of the term of Dr. Ma Eugene Amante in 2006 – 2008 were the effects of the environment, media, and family to the child. Thus, lectures and TV appearances on the effects of media to children were made. Flagship projects were ”Aton Kabataan Aton Amligan” lectures on child abuse and substance abuse in schools, “Balik Eskwela Program” to keep the children away from the streets by awarding and recognizing children with complete attendance and good scholastic records. Detection of iron deficiency anemia among Grade I pupils and subsequent iron supplementation to affected pupils were also done. The chapter joined with the private sector mobilization for family health projects. The chapter was awarded the most outstanding chapter in research for 2007.

Dr. Teresita Geroche became president in 2008 to 2010. The chapter members were active in the care of the environment by planting mangrove trees and maintenance of trees in Barangay Bagsakan in Alimodian, Iloilo for the Maasin Watershed were continued. Likewise, there was also active participation of the local members in medical missions for hardly hit flood victims brought by the wrath of typhoon Frank particularly in the town of Pavia and the district of Jaro. Dengue awareness program was given emphasis with the ”Ilonggo Pediatricians Knock Out Dengue Project” in the town of Oton, Iloilo which significantly reduced the incidence of dengue in the locality. The chapter was awarded the most outstanding chapter in continuing medical education in 2009 and the most outstanding chapter in research in 2010.

Programs in continuing medical education, research, community service and child advocacy were continued during the term of Dr. Ma. Victoria Ravina in 2010 to 2012. The chapter was the first chapter to have a program for disaster preparedness. The Perla Santos Ocampo award for the most outstanding chapter for community service and child advocacy was given to the chapter.

Dr. John Colacion was the chapter president in 2012-2014. It was during his term that Objective Structure Clinical Exam (OSCE) was held for graduating Pediatric residents in training. Prior to that, a workshop for consultants was conducted about OSCE, A three month review for PPS Specialty Board special exam was organized by subspecialist members of the chapter. The close to 50 passers were welcomed by the chapter. The chapter joined in the “Project Rebuild” as a partner in the rehabilitation of areas hardly hit by typhoon Yolanda. Rehabilitation of the damaged water system in the island of Naborot in the town of San Dionisio was financed by the chapter. Medical missions in the northern towns of Iloilo and Antique which were greatly affected by Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013 were also done

In 2014-2016 Dr. Jose Pandan was the chapter president. Programs in continuing medical education, research and community service and child advocacy were continued. The chapter has a growing number of members and there was a plan to have a separate chapter for the Negros Occidental group and the Panay group. However, there was a ruling that there could only be one chapter per region and that hindered the separation. In May 29, 2015 Negros Island Region was created through Executive order 183 signed by President Benigno Aquino III. Thus there was now a reason to separate. A process was followed for the separation, new set of officers and board members were elected in February 2016. Finally, during PPS national board meeting with the chapter presidents in April 2016 it was decided to grant separation of the chapter into Negros Island Chapter (Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental) and Western Visayas Chapter (Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras and Iloilo).

Dr. Cristina VC. Woo was the first chapter president for the newly created Western Visayas Chapter in 2016-2018 The chapter was involved in many activities of the society. Certain advocacies like Campaign Against Tobacco Smoking was conducted for high school students in Iloilo City. Our entry for the poster making contest won first place in the national level. Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses Workshop was held at the College of Medicine of West Viasyas State University. The chapter partnered with Team bakunanays Public Health students of UP Visayas. UNILAB foundation, DOH, Municipality of Pavia, Ungka II Elementary School to help increase immunization coverage among grade school students.

Dr, Joselito E. Caso served in 2018-2020. The members were encouraged to be PPS (punctual, participative, simple). The first Philippine version of Neonatal Resuscitation Program was conducted for pediatric residents in training and pediatric consultants. Advocacies in line with the mother society were conducted like Campaign Against Teen-age Pregnancy, Disaster Preparedness,, Breastfeeding, Immunization among others. Partnership with Iloilo Provincial government was made during the dengue outbreak in 2019. Volunteer members went to four district hospitals (Cabatuan, Janiuay, Guimbal and Aleosan) and help in out patient consultations and management of admitted patients. The chapter was given a certificate of appreciation from the Department of Health Western Visayas for their support in the implementation Child Health Care Services. The first PPS WV Pediatric Forum was conducted last February 27-28, 2020.

This year, the year that COVID-19 disturbed the whole world is the year that the key of responsibility was transferred to Dr. Teresa Martirez-Hallegado. This is the year that restrictions, quarantines and strict health protocols are being implemented. Teaching and learning activities are mostly, if not all, virtual. Programs and advocacies are being carried out through social media. Empowerment of the members in the use of the different social media platforms is the initial project of the chapter. Encouraging the residents to create different video infomercials on the different advocacies of the society to continue reaching out to the community through social media. More video informercials and posters will be produced in the next months to increase awareness on COVID-19 and the ways to control and prevent it’s spread.

What is in store for the chapter in the next 2 years and the years to come? There would be more challenges along the way, but with the wisdom and experience the members had shared with mentors and senior consultants, they will come out victorious. This can be achieved with the cooperation of every member, properly equipped with the latest trends in patient care, updates in continuing pediatric education, commitment to be involved in community service and research, and participation in socio-cultural activities. Members would be ready to adjust to the changing times and face the challenges of life.

The legacy and tradition of excellence passed on by our predecessors will serve as inspiration to the present and future members of the society. The will and the passion to continue to strive for excellence in providing the best possible care for the Filipino child, the Ilonggos in particular live on.