THE PHILIPPINE SOCIETY OF GASTROENTEROLOGY. . .THEN AND NOW
The ground work for the birth of the Philippine Society of Gastroenterology started way back in 1948 when Dr. Francisco J. Roman performed the first gastroscopy at the University of Santo Tomas using a bulb-type gastroscope.
Later in 1953, Dr. Gonzalo Austria brought in the Philippines’ first Gastro camera for the University of the East Memorial Medical Center.
Dr. Gonzalo F. Austria, 1960 – 66
As the interest in gastroenterology grew, a group of Filipino doctors got together and established the Philippine College of Gastroenterology whose aim was to developed and promote gastroenterology as a specialty. Elected officers at the time were Dr. Gonzalo Austria (President), Dr. Francisco Roman and Pacifico Yap (vice-president), Dr. Oscar Liboro (secretary), Dr. Jesus Soriano (Treasurer). Members of the board were: Dr. Wenceslao Vitug, Dr. Jose Jose, Dr. Porficio Recio and Dr. Hermogenes Santos. However it was only in 1960 with the coming of Dr. Henry Bockus, who was then president of the Organization Mondialede Gastroenterologie (OMGE), that the officers were inducted and the society’s name changed to Philippine World Congress of Gastroenterology in Geneva, Switzerland and in the Asia Pacific Congress in Chandigar,India. The society experienced a spurt of growth in1961 when Dr. Sol Alvarez came home from the United States bringing with him an Eder Palmer bulb-type gastroscope. Since then., gastroscopy became an established part of gastrointestinal examination.
Dr. Francisco J. Roman, 1966-68
Dr. Roman was elected second president of the society. His vice presidents were Oscar Liboro and Dr. Porfirio Recio. Dr. Sol Alvarez was the secretary, Dr. Elpidio
Gamboa the treasurer. It was during his term that the incorporation papers were processed. The society was again represented in the Third World Congress of Gastroenterology in Tokyo, Japan. Dr. Oscar Liboro saw to it that the medical information obtained during that meeting could be shared by his colleagues back home. He organized a post-congress series of lecture in the Philippines. Invited were noted figures like Drs. Watkinson and Billing of the UK, Drs. Pollard Ross, Nugent, and Steigman from the United States.
Dr. Pofirio Recio, 1968 – 70
Dr. Recio was the first surgeon to be elected president of the society with Dr. Esteban Pineda, who was the secretary, they represented the society in the Third Asian Pacific Congress in Melbourne, Australia and won the bid to host the 1972 Asia Pacific Congress. The preparation for the big event was the major highlight of his term. Dr. Recio was elected Chairman of the fourth Asia Pacific Congress of Gastroenterology.
Dr. Florentino Santos, 1970 - 72
The next set of officers were: Dr. Florentino Santos, President, Dr. Esteban Pineda, and Dr. Amado Lee, Vice-Presidents, Dr. Armando Sta. Ana, Secretary, Dr. Jesus Perez, Jr., Assistant Secretary, Dr. Victor So, Treasurer, The Fourth Asian Pacific Congress of Gastroenterology was the biggest international event ever hosted by the Society.
Then President Ferdinand Marcos was the keynote speaker. It was also during this time that the Agustin Liboro Memorial Lecture was launched.
Dr. Sol Z. Alvarez, 1972 – 74
Dr. Sol Alvarez was elected President of the Society. He initiated the holding of bi-annual postgraduate courses to promote gastroenterology to all medical practitioners. The first post-graduate was conducted in Baguio City in December, 1973.
In addition, he established the “Gastrointestinal Corner”, a permanent feature in Pulse Philippines, a monthly publication of Winthro-Stearns. He also launched the PSG Newsletter as well as worked for the affiliation of the society with the Philippine Medical Association.
When the Matial law ban was relaxed, Dr. Alvarez, Dr. Ronaldo Asuncion. Dr. Victoriano Lim, and Dr. JY Perez attended the first Asia Pacific Congress of Endoscopy in Kyoto, Japan. Dr. Crisostomo Arcilla represented the PSG in Sydney, Australia and presented his paper on Operative Cholangiography.
Dr. Armando D. Sta. Ana, 1974 – 76
The sixth President of the Society was Dr. Armando D. Sta. Ana. His board was tasked with the continued effort to bring gastroenterology to all medical practitioners in active collaboration with the other medical societies.
Dr. Jesus Y. Perez, Jr., 1976 – 78
During his term, two milestones in the history of the society happened: the launching of Cimetidine (Tagamet), the first H2 receptor antagonist that revolutionized the treatment of peptic ulcer disease, and the birth of the Philippine Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy with Dr. Florencio Pineda as President. It was also during this time that society conferred its honorary member award to Dr. GV Ong of HongKong.
Dr. Fernando F. Piedad, 1978 – 80
Dr. Fernando Piedad and his board conceptualized and initiated the first annual convention of the society. The mechanics for the subspecialty training for gastroenterology were formulated and in consequence the list of forty doctors to be awarded the title of diplomate under the grandfather’s clause was approved.
Dr. Federico T. Leelin, 1980 – 82
The board with Dr. Leelin as President approved the mechanics for the subspecialty training of gastroenterology and scheduled the first diplomate examination. Oozing with confidence after the success of the 4th Asian Pacific Congress, the board went ahead to bid for the hosting of the World Congress of Gastroenterology. This was, however, lost to Sao Paolo, Brazil. The information campaign against alcoholism was developed at this time.
Dr. Eugenio A. Picazo, 1982 – 84
When Dr. Picazo was elected President, the first manual of procedures, rules and regulations, souvenir programs and the first issue of the Philippine Journal of Gastroenterology was published. After being launched in 1972, the first Agustin Liboro Memorial Lecture was held with no other than Marvin Sleizenger as guest lecturer. It was also during this time that the first five diplomats of the society were inducted. They were:
Venancio I. Gloria, M.D.
Remigio M. Olveda, M.D.
Judy Y. Lao-Tan, M.D.
Evelyn B. Dy, M.D.
Daniel M. Parungao, M.D.
In 1983, the society lost one of its pillars as Dr. Francisco Roman joined his creator.
Dr. Florencio M. Pineda, 1984 – 86
His term was marked by years of crisis in both the individual and collective national life. But in spite of this, the society was still able to function and implement its list of objectives. Scientific out-of-town activities had to be trimmed down in number but were conducted to best meet the needs of the areas concerned. Criteria for training programs were modified so that more centers were accredited for the training of aspiring gastroenterologists. It was also at this time when the first Francisco Roman Memorial lecture was held.
Dr. Amadeo F. Lustre, Jr., 1988 – 90
In addition to the continued scientific activities, Dr. Lustre and his board encouraged research activities, especially the free paper presentation during the conventions. His term also took on the task of putting into order the administrative aspect of the society. The PSG/PSDE secretariat was established at UERM and the services of a lawyer was acquired to workout SEC requirements.
Dr. Erlinda V. Valdellon, 1990 – 92
The first woman President of the society pursued with the vigor the accredited training program of the society in order to maintain its high standard of quality. Emergence of conflicting information on the risk of Hepatitis B virus infection led to the issuance of a position paper with regard to HBsAg (+) contract workers.
During her term, the society lost one of its board of directors, the late Nicolas Zubiri – the 7th President of the Philippine Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.
Dr. Arsenio C. Mendoza, 1992 – 1994
It was during the term of Dr. Arsenio Mendoza that the society implemented for the first time an alcohol free convention. The board also proposed the standardization of professional fees. For the interest of the public, a consensus on Hepatitis B testing and vaccination was issued. It was also during his term that the PSG Newsletter was re-activated and re-named GUT News. The first batch of young investigators’ awardee was sent to the World Congress of Gastroenterology in Los, Angeles, California, USA.
Dr. Ramon E. Carpio, 1994 – 1996
The highlight of his term was the purchase of three condominium units at the Prince David Tower at Katipunan Street, the future home of the PSG/PSDE