The 49th Annual Convention of the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP) officially opened the 3-day national convention on August 15, 2012, at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino. This year’s theme “Strengthening Psychology, Serving the Nation” is in line with the thrust of the PAP, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary as a professional organization.
The Department of Psychology of the University of San Carlos (USC) is co-presenting this year’s convention, which has gathered over 1,000 professionals in the field of Psychology from all over the country.
Following the invocation and national anthem led by the USC Choristers and opening remarks by the 49th PAP Convention Co-Chair Dr. Delia Belleza, the incumbent USC President Fr. Dionisio Miranda delivered a meaningful message as he officially opened the convention.
In her presidential address, PAP President Dr. Maria Caridad Tarroja talked about the 50 years of PAP, highlighting ways in which the organization has strengthened the Psychology profession and how practitioners nationwide has and will continue to serve the Filipino nation.
After an awe-inspiring introduction by the PAP Convention Chair Dr. Mira Ofreneo, Hon. Patricia B. Licuanan delivered a heartfelt keynote speech that set the tone for the 3-day convention. Hon. Licuanan who is currently serving as the Chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) revealed that psychology was her first love. With a distinguished career to boot, Hon. Licuanan said “You can take me out of psychology but you will never take psychology out of me.”
Hon. Licuanan, who also formerly served as PAP President, plays an instrumental role in the advancement of the profession in the Philippines. She shares, “look back and look forward.” Among other brilliant pieces of advice, Hon. Licuanan emphasized the need to establish an excellent undergraduate and graduate program in order to create valuable human resource that will strengthen the Psychology profession and to better serve the nation.
Following a personal tribute to the PAP founders, namely Fr. Jaime Bulatao and Dr. Alfredo Lagmay, and influential pioneers in the Filipino Psychology scene, Dr. Estefania Aldaba Lim and Dr. Virgilio Enriquez, she posed challenges to the attendees. Specifically, she urges Psychology practitioners to become leaders of change, to synergize and to become beacons of hope. She highlights the value of volunteerism and the positive impact of people serving people.
During the first Plenary Session for this year’s convention, the IRR for the Philippine Psychology Act of 2009 (RA 10029) was discussed. Dr. Lourdes Carandang, who was appointed chair of the Psychology Professional Regulatory Board (PRB) last May 2012, informed the body that she has officially resigned as of June 30, 2012. The remaining members of the Psychology PRB are Hon. Imelda Virgina Villar and Hon. Miriam Cue, who both discussed the preliminary IRR, which is still subject for final approval by the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC).
The salient features of the IRR were discussed by Hon. Cue, including who needs to get a license, who can be called a psychologist and who are qualified to take the licensure examination for psychologists.
The IRR, which should be promulgated by August 27, will be reviewed in the various PAP Division Meetings to be conducted at the end of today’s convention.
Parallel Oral Presentations were conducted in the afternoon. Topics discussed include Positive Psychology and Psyche, Diverse Approaches to Therapy, Surviving Violence and Profiling Abuse, Sports Psychology, and Clinical and Counseling Issues of At-Risk Youth.