Philippine Glaucoma Society

In 1997 the Philippines was preparing to host the 17th Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) meeting to be held in Manila in 1999. Dr. Mario V. Aquino was appointed as the glaucoma convener for the meeting. He enlisted eight other glaucoma specialists to help with the preparations. As they were planning the glaucoma activities for the APAO meeting, they became convinced of the need for a glaucoma subspecialty society in the country. Thus, the Philippine Glaucoma Society was formed. The objectives of the new society were to support professional enhancement, exchange of ideas and camaraderie among its members, upgrade the glaucoma diagnostic and management capabilities of general ophthalmologists through educational activities, promote public awareness of glaucoma, and uphold professional and ethical standards among glaucoma subspecialists. Dr. Aquino served as the society’s first president with Dr. Manuel B. Agulto as the vice-president and Dr. Mario Yatco as the secretary. The other founding members were Drs. Patricia Khu, Alexander Reyes, Norman Aquino, Manolito Reyes, Glenn Abundo, and Ma. Imelda Yap-Veloso. The first activity organized by the new society was the highly successful pre-APAO glaucoma symposium held at the Ramada Hotel in Manila. Each member of the society delivered a lecture in front of an audience of more than 250 local and foreign ophthalmologists. The success of this activity brought the Philippine Glaucoma Society to international attention and led to the Philippine participation in the formation of the South East Asia Glaucoma Interest Group (SEAGIG).

Since then, the membership of the PGS has grown from the initial nine members to more than forty. The society’s contribution to glaucoma knowledge has also grown through organizing and participating in local and international meetings. The society successfully hosted the 2nd SEAGIG meeting in Manila in 2002 and has contributed to the meetings of other international bodies such as the Association of International Glaucoma Societies (AIGS, now the World Glaucoma Association) and the Asia Oceanic Glaucoma Society (now merged with the SEAGIG as the Asia Pacific Glaucoma Society). The PGS was accepted as the Philippine member society of the AIGS in 2005. Locally, the PGS organizes symposia and instructional courses during the Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology meetings and it has organized two well-attended Philippine Glaucoma Congresses with international guest speakers from multiple continents.