Dawning of a New Age


The Philippine Society of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Inc.

More than 60 years ago, a Heroic Nine’ took the bold step to establish a separate otorhinolaryngological society to spearhead the dynamic development of this surgical subspecialty catering to ear, nose, throat, head and neck problems


In 1956, against overwhelming odds and formidable circumstances, an intrepid group of U.S. trained Otolaryngologists—all Fellows in good standing of the erstwhile Philippine Ophthalmological and Otolaryngological Society, inspired by Dr. Tierry F. Garcia—agreed it was time to incorporate a separate and independent group to establish a competent O.R.L. practice in the country.

Encouraged initially by Drs. Napoleon Ejercito and Angel Enriquez—the two other Otolaryngologists with the UP-PGH Medical Center then—the idea began to shape.

When the final draft of the Constitution and By Laws was completed by the Troika of the Talk of the Town of the Manila Doctors Hospital, the five other E.N.T. men in the country were Drs. Cesar F. Villafuerte, Sr., Jose Antonio L. Roxas, Sr., Vicente Songco, Antonio Vicencio, Macario Tan, were invited to join while Dr. Ariston Bautista who was still at the State University of New York was inducted in absentia.

This was how the group became known as the “Heroic Nine,” a quote attributed to Dr. Frank Co Tui – Creedmore Institute Science Director – who was the guest of honor and speaker at the inauguration rites.

Undersecretary of Health Dr. Rafael Tombokon inducted the charter members, charter directors including the society’s President–Dr. Tierry F. Garcia at the Dao Room of the Manila Hotel on February 17, 1956. Hence, the Philippine Society of Otolaryngology and Bronchoesophagology, Inc. was born.

The group was re-baptized as the Philippine Society of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery during the annual meeting held at the Penthouse of the Hyatt Regency on December 3, 1981. (Editorial – A Quarter Century of History – PJO- HNS 1983).

The PSO-HNS, together with its specialty board, the Philippine Board of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery is duly registered with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC).


1. Engage in the relentless pursuit of excellence and relevance in service, training, research and advocacies.
2. Build, grow and nurture ethical, highly skilled, and professionally satisfied ORLHN Surgeons.
3. Promote the interest and welfare of the members.


A global leader in the care of Ear, Nose and Throat –Head and Neck conditions thru the advancement of the specialty in the fields of practice, service, education, training and research.

Our cup of tea

While otolaryngologists and ophthalmologists agree on fundamental motivations for public service, nevertheless it would be futile and wasteful not to recognize their irreconcilable differences in fundamental approaches. This is one reason for the existence of specialty societies and specialty boards – to protect the public against the incompetence of self-styled specialists.

What is the required training in Otolaryngology?

Competency in Otolaryngology includes actual training in all its phases like – Bronchoesophagology, Maxillofacial Surgery, Head & Neck Surgery, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery, Allergy, Audiology, Neurootology, Microsurgery of the Ear, Larynx, etc. over a period of four years in an accredited institution (“Otolaryngology as a Separate Specialty:” PJO-HNS Journal 1982, JPMA Vol. 46, No. 10, Oct. 1970).

Accredited institutions

In 1957, a year after the society was formed; the Manila Central University (MCU) took the lead in the establishment of a separate and independent Department of Otolaryngology in its Medical School. Incidentally, Drs. Cesar F. Villafuerte, Sr. and Angel E. Enriquez served as first and second chairman respectively.

The creation of a separate Department of E.N.T. at the College of Medicine, University of the Philippines and its teaching affiliate – the Philippine General Hospital on December 1961 gave the impetus and momentum in liberating Otolaryngology from its erstwhile partner. The rest followed suit at – Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila College of Medicine-Ospital ng Maynila, Fatima Medical Science Foundation, General Emilio Aguinaldo College of Medicine, Philippine Muslim Christian College of Medicine.

Dress Down With Sneakers 2Considered a breakthrough and a great step forward was the creation of a separate Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Santo Tomas, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery in 1984.

In 1989, there were only five fully accredited residency training institutions: UPPGH, UST, PLM-OM, JRMMC, and MCU. Later it became 9 with the addition of East Avenue Medical Center, St. Luke’s Medical Center, University of the East, and Far Eastern University in 1991.

Since then, the accredited hospitals spread from the city center hospitals to the provinces in the whole of the archipelago. The Philippine Board of Otolaryngology spends time and energy to evaluate and visit hospitals applying for accreditation. This is the reason why competent residency training is now available for aspiring physicians in the provinces which has been a monopoly of urban centers before.

At the moment, the number of accredited hospitals reached a record number of 31 as follows:

1. Victoriano Luna Medical Center
2. Baguio General Hospital & Medical Center
3. Southern Philippines Medical Center
4. De La Salle University Medical Center
5. East Avenue Medical Center
6. Far Eastern University-Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation
7. Ilocos Training Regional & Medical Center
8. Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center
9. Makati Medical Center
10. Manila Doctors Hospital
11. Manila Central University-Filemon D.Tanchoco Medical Foundation
12. Ospital ng Makati
13. Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center
14. Quezon City General Hospital
15. Quirino Memorial Medical Center
16. Rizal Medical Center
17. St. Luke’s Medical Center
18. University of Santo Tomas Hospital
19. The Medical City
20. University of the East-Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center (UERMMMC)
21. University of the Philippines- Philippine General Hospital
22. Veterans Memorial Medical Center
23. Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center
24. Western Visayas Medical Center
25. Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital
26. Cagayan de Oro Consortium
27. Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital & Medical Center
28. Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center
29. Dr. Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research Medical Center
30. Cagayan Valley Medical Center
31. Zamboanga City Medical Center

On December 10, 1991, because of the growing number of members in the provinces, the society’s general membership voted to create three regional chapters-one each for Northern Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao.

Because of the Society’s trust to serve the needs of the residents in the provincial areas, many graduates were encouraged to practice in these areas. With the increasing number of provincial practitioners, the initial three regional chapters have grown to eight, namely: the Northern Luzon Chapter, the Central Luzon Chapter, the Southern Tagalog Chapter, the Bicol Chapter (all in Luzon geographical area), the Central Eastern Visayas Chapter, the Western Visayas Chapter (in the Visayas geographical area), the Northern Mindanao Chapter and the Southern Mindanao Chapter (in the Mindanao geographical area). Each geographical area is represented in the Board of Trustees.

The Philippine Board of Otolaryngology

To enhance and uphold competent Otorhinolaryngologic practice and protect the public from self-styled specialists, the Philippine Board of Otolaryngology- Head Neck Surgery (PBO-HNS) was conceived and incorporated in 1971. The ENT Board aims “to establish standards of qualifications for otolaryngologists who desire and request board certification; to determine which candidates full these standards to examine such candidates and issue certificates upon satisfactory completion of the requirements . . .” (PJO-HNS 1988).

Membership in the board was drawn initially from Fellows of the society, who are Diplomates of the American Board of Otolaryngology. Although authorized to have a maximum of 9 directors, the original 5 were themselves the incorporators: Dr. Napoleon Ejercito served as first President, with Drs. Ariston Bautista, Manuel Lim, Armando Chiong, and Mariano Caparas. Dr. Ejercito presented the history of the society on the society’s 50th anniversary.


Although the society was established in 1956, it took 25 years before the maiden issue of the Philippine Journal of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery was published in 1981. Since then it has become a repository of experiences, knowledge, and research from members of the society providing valuable information applicable to Filipinos to uplift health care in the country.

The editorial board opted to retain the old name but with an addition – Head & Neck Surgery to reach the activities and scope of the specialty.

The ENT journal has become the most sought after reference material locally and is an important requirement for accreditation. The bulk of important data about local ENT history can be derived from the editorials and articles written by past Presidents of the society and editors-in-chief led by Dr. Angel Enriquez who served as the first editor (1981-1988), followed by – Drs. Eusebio Llamas (1989), Alfredo Q.Y. Pontejos, Jr. (1990), and Joselito C. Jamir (1991-1998), Jose M. Acuin (1999-2000), Dr. Charlotte M. Chiong (2001-2005) and presently Dr. Jose Florencio F. Lapeña, Jr. (2006-present).

The Philippine Journal of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery is now listed among the international peer reviewed journals that adhere to the “Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals” of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). It is fully indexed on Herdin-NeON (supported by the Philippine Council for Health Research Development-Department of Science and Technology), Philippine Journals OnLine and Asian Journals OnLine (supported by the International Network for the Availability of Scientic Publications), the Western Pacific Index Medicus (supported by the World Health Organization) and the Index Copernicus International Journals Masterlist.

Study groups

During the last decade, because practicing ENT physicians gained subspecialty training abroad, various study groups began to emerge. Some were adamant to initiate the move but some quarters opined that with the fast pace of development its creation has become inevitable.

The study groups are as follows: Philippine Academy of Rhinology, Philippine Academy of Laryngology and Phoniatrics, Philippine Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Philippine Academy of Neurotology, Otology and Related Sciences, Academy for Head and Neck Oncology of the Philippines, Philippine Academy of Audiology, Philippine Academy of Sleep Surgery, Philippine Academy of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery and Philippine Academy of Paediatric ORL.

International conventions

In its early years, when the society became a member of the International Federation of Otorhinolaryngological Societies (IFOS) in 1967, with the encouragement of Japan Otolaryngological Society, the society cosponsored the First Asia-Oceania Congress of Otolaryngology in 1967 in Manila and on February 2000, for the second time around the 9th Asia-Oceania Congress of Otolaryngology was hosted. Other big gatherings hosted by the society include:

4th Asia-Pacific Congress on Deafness (1994)
ASEAN ORL (1988), ISIAN (1999)
Hearing International Congress (2006)
ARSR – Asian Research Symposium in Rhinology (2007). International Federation of Head and Neck Oncologic Societies (IFHNOS) – October 17-20, 2010
3rd Asian Facial Plastic Surgery Society Congress – 2012
3rd Asian Society of Head and Neck Oncology Congress- 2013
15th Asean ORL-HNS Congress – 2013
1st Congress of the Federation of Asian
Rhinologic Societies – 2014
1st Philippine International Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery Congress – 2015
6th PAAFPRS Annual Congress – 2016
10th International Symposium on Recent Advances in Rhinosinusitis and Nasal Polyposis held on November 29-December 1, 2017.

PSO-HNS activities

The society holds the annual convention every December while the Midyear Convention is conducted every summer. The midyear convention next year will be held in PUERTO PRINCESA City, hosted by the Southern Tagalog Chapter (STEnts) who graciously accepted the opportunity.

The society also conducts interhospital grand rounds, clinical practice guidelines fora, sportsfest, quiz contest, medical missions, research contests and other events. These activities aim to foster camaraderie, healthy competition, and to keep the general membership abreast with the latest developments in the specialty.

The society also launched the “Kalusugang Ear Nose and Throat Program” a brainchild of Dr. Natividad Almazan, which aim is to promote public awareness of the common ENT problems.

Other advocacies that are being supported by PSO-HNS are Occupational Hearing Conservation, the Newborn Hearing Screening, Early Cancer Detection Program – Pasilip Ka, Environmental Concern – Allergy Control and Climate Change, and the OSAS – Hilik Biik.

The Philippine Society of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery in its pursuit of excellence of service, training, research and public information to all, continues to exert all its e orts to live up to its mission statement.

Other advocacies that are being supported by PSO-HNS are Occupational Hearing Conservation, the Newborn Hearing Screening, Early Cancer Detection Program – Pasilip Ka, Environmental Concern – Allergy Control and Climate Change, and the OSAS – Hilik Biik.

The Philippine Society of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery in its pursuit of excellence of service, training, research and public information to all, continues to exert all its e orts to live up to its mission statement.

“While otolaryngologists and ophthalmologists agree on fundamental motivations for public service, nevertheless it would be futile and wasteful not to recognize their irreconcilable differences in fundamental approaches”

December 2017 Health and Lifestyle

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