The second day of the 49th Annual Convention of the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP), at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino began with a plenary session facilitated by Dr. Jerry Jurisprudencia of Miriam College. This year’s theme for the national convention is “Strengthening Psychology, Serving the Nation.”
Dr. Lota Teh, who is the current chairperson of the Department of Psychology of the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), talked about strengthening the Teaching of Psychology. She started the ball rolling with a rundown of the problems encountered in teaching the course and how they have been addressed with the establishment of the Commission of Higher Education (CHED) in 1994 (RA 7722).
The CHED Technical Committee for Psychology issued CHED Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 44, which has been superceded by CMO 38 Series of 2010 Policies and Standards for Undergraduate Programs in Psychology and CMO 39 Series of 2010 Policies and Standards for Graduate Programs in Psychology.
She suggests that in order to strengthen the field for Teaching Psychology, Psychology professionals working in the academe should work towards a graduate degree, update and upgrade their skills by attending Continuing Professional Education (CPE) activities, practice what they teach, engage in collaborative activities by tapping on faculty linkages and PAP division networks, and serve as good examples to their students.
Dr. Allan Bernardo followed with a discussion on Research in Psychology. Dr. Bernardo, who is the author of notable published Psychology researches, highlighted ten (10) important things to do when engaging in research, including knowing your priorities so that you will only devote your time to what is important to you. He also discouraged whining about one’s lack of resources, and instead tells the PAP attendees to tap on their creativity and resourcefulness. Also a must, according to Dr. Bernardo, is to keep on working and to stop only once you’ve finished your research.
Dr. Sylvia Estrada-Claudio, Director of the University of the Philippines Center for Women’s Studies (UPCWS), discussed Outreach in Psychology. In order to strengthen the profession, practitioners should become engaged scholars, so we can “let the realities of our world shape our profession.” According to her, outreach is a “promising and a very fruitful approach.” Engagement in social movements, which is how she defines outreach, is a vital resource for enriching teaching, researching and practicing Psychology. To cap her talk, Dr. Claudio said “In serving the nation, we also strengthen Psychology.”
In her speech on Practice in Psychology, Dr. Lourdes Carandang, Founder and President of the MLAC Institute for Children and Families, emphasized the relevance and importance of Psychology in the Philippines. She talked about how psychologists were not included in the important task of nation-building in the past. She further explained the impact of mindful clinical practice in our thrust of serving the nation. To quote Dr. Carandang, “the ultimate goal of our practice is the well-being of the people we serve. For what is a science of human behaviour (and consciousness), if it has nothing to do with the well-being of the human being?”
To download the plenary presentations, visit the PAP Web site: http://pap.org.ph. The Convention program and the abstracts of the studies are also available at the PAP Members e-group.
After the Plenary Session, the PAP Membership Meeting was conducted. Maria Caridad Tarroja delivered the President’s Report, followed by the Treasurer’s Report delivered by Dr. Carmencita Salonga. With five outgoing members of the PAP Board this year, the PAP Members have to elect new members into the BOD.
The Special Policy Forum on the PAP Statement on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Nondiscrimination: Key Concepts and Implications for Practice and for Psychology in the Public Interest (LGBT Forum), which was attended by a significant number of participants, had to transfer from the Adriatic Function Room to the Pacific Grand Ballroom in order to accommodate everyone interested in joining the said forum. Eric Julian Manalastas of the University of the Philippines Diliman, Niel Steve Kintanar of the University of San Carlos (USC), Claire Pareja and Gerald Igay of the Cebu Rainbow LGBT Community, and Cebu City Councilor Alvin Dizon’s Assistant Aileen Tejano gave insightful talks during the sessions.
Parallel Oral Presentations were also conducted on various topics, including Personality Assessment and Applications, Approaches to Effective Teaching, Therapeutic Approaches and Programs for Children and Adolescents, Forensic Psychology: Life In and Out of Prison, Learning Strategies and Styles of Students, Practices of Filipino Counselors and Counseling Psychologists, and Supporting Students with Special Needs.
The PAP 50th Anniversary Dinner at the Pacific Grand Ballroom caps the day’s events. Among other things the PAP will honor its past presidents and give service awards to two members of the PAP Secretariat.