Integrated Philippine Association of Optometrists, Inc.
The Integrated Philippine Association of Optometrists, Inc. (IPAO), formerly known as the Samahan ng Optometrist sa Pilipinas (SOP) is an organization that serve as a channel for cooperation, development, self regulation and control on Optometrists in the Philippines.
The Samahan ng Optometrist sa Pilipinas is founded in 1917, in response for the need of proper documentation and am organization that will support the Optometry, which is a relatively new profession back then. It is the first known effort by practicing optometrists to bind themselves and create an organization in national scope. this loosely knit group died soon after its birth.
Fifteen years after, a new organization was established under a handful of pioneering optometrists who aimed to revive the fraternal spirit. The organization was named Philippine Optometric Association. The founding members were Drs. Vicente Bernardo, Cipriano Lara, Manuel Sabater and Justo Gonzalez. The POA's first elected officers were Vicente Bernardo as president; Joaquin del Alcazar, vice-president; Jose Casaje, secretary; Luis Casaje, treasurer and; Antonio Sabater and Pedro Jose as directors. Unfortunately, the organization lasted for only four years.
In 1936, a new organization was born under the name Optometric Association of the Philippines. It was with Dr. Justo Gonzales as its founding president. During the world war, the organization suffered from inactivity but right after the war in 1946, the organization reorganized.
The SOP came to be know as the integration of the three organization in 1979 through a Presidential Decree ordered by then President Ferdinand Marcos under which only one organization representing each profession was to be recognized and thereby accredited with the Professional Regulation Commission. During the integration, 37 component chapters of the OAP were assimilated into the SOP which later became the Integrated Philippine Association of Optometrists.
These were the chapters of the IPAO in different regions of the country:
- National Capital Region (NCR-NORTH)
- District III - Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela (CAMANAVA)
- Manila Optometric Society
- Quezon City
- San Juan
- Nationa Capital Region (NCR-SOUTH)
- Region I-A
- Region I-B
- Region III-C
- International Chapters
- Assir, KSA
- Eastern Province
- Riyadh, KSA
- Southern California
- United Arab Emirates
- "Integrated Philippine Association of Optometrists"ipao, 2007. (Accessed on September 10,2007)