Optometry is a profession focused on the science, art and care of the human eyes. The practitioners of optometry are referred to as optometrists. Optometry in the Philippines can be dated back to the time of Dr. Jose Rizal. Americans have greatly contributed to the growth of Philippine Optometry; and further influenced the country’s involvement internationally.
Concerning the laws, the most recent governing principle of the optometry land Is the Republic Act No. 8050 which is also known as the Revised Optometry Law of 1995. There are 2 important associations that has great information about the history and current status of Optometry in the Philippines. Please check out their official sites here:
Optometric Association Of The Philippines http://www.oap.com.ph/
Integrated Philippine Association Of Optometrists http://ipao.org.ph/
These organizations generally have common mission and vision which is to give public awareness regarding maximum eye care. They also conduct outreach programs to reach out to Filipino people who have limited eye care access. There are also international conventions to connect with other optometrists across the globe and discuss emerging technologies to boost eye care standards, among all else. These are only some of the activities that these groups are into, and you can always check them up online.
Despite the numerous colleges across the country there are only a select few which are accredited to offer optometry courses. These colleges are: Lyceum Northwesters University, Cebu Doctors’ University, Southwestern University, Davao Doctors College, Mindanao Medical Foundation College, Central Colleges of the Philippines, Centro Escolar University, De Ocampo Memorial College, Manila Central University, Pines City Colleges, University of Baguio and Asian College Foundation. Each school may have different curricula of the course but there are required subjects to be taken for the duration of the whole course. If you want to become an Optometrist please contact the schools listed above.
The cost of education differs per university but the estimated cost per semester for the Doctor of Optometry is ranging from P35, 000 to P40, 000.
The Section 19 of the Republic Act 8050 stated that a degree holder of the course should at least have taken a list of minimum subjects. They also provided the complete list of these subjects; and some of the subjects mandated by the law are mathematics, psychology, physics, sociology, biochemistry, microbiology practical and mechanical optics, physiological optics, pharmacology, practical optometry, ocular anatomy and physiology, contact lens practice, vision and pediatric optometry, clinical optometry, optometric economics and practice management, hygiene, and sanitation and public health optometry.
In the Section 2 of the Republic Act 8050 the Diagnostic pharmaceutical agents are defined and recommended by Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) and approved by Department of Health (DOH); these drugs are limited to the following: Phenylephrine 2.5% ophthalmic drop, Tropicamide 0.5% ophthalmic drops, Proparacaine 0.5% ophthalmic drops, Oxybuprocaine HCL 0.4% ophthalmic drops and Fluorecein stips.
Currently there are only a few who are licensed practitioners of optometry in the country. Although the public may be aware of numerous eyewear products offerings, the persons examining your eyes may not be licensed let alone legal. Thus the general public is advised to see professional and licensed practitioners.
Notwithstanding the current status of the numbers of licensed optometrist, the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) had just added two more years to the four-year optometry course. Optometrist Licensure Examination is a prerequisite to every Doctor of Optometry graduates to practice their craft. When passed, graduates will be licensed optometrists. The Board of Optometry, under the PRC, is organizing these examinations which are set annually.
The overall passing rates of Optometrist Licensure Exam since 2010 are as follows: July 2010 with 86%, July 2011 with 85%, July 2012 with 71%, December 2013 with 85%, July 2014 with 94%, and July 2015 with 92%.
So what are the career opportunities for these passers? According to www.finduniversity.ph, a graduate of Doctor of Optometry in the Philippines may follow these career opportunities: Academician, School Optometrist, Medical Researcher, Private Optometrist, Hospital and Clinic Consultant, Hospital Resident Optometrist, or Optometrist in Non-Government Organization (NGO) and Government Agencies.
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has estimated the Optometrist’s salary range from P19, 618 to P24, 941; still, it may matter on the nature of the industry that you are affiliated with.
The organizations generally have common mission and vision which is to give public awareness regarding maximum eye care. They also conduct outreach programs to reach out to Filipino people who have limited eye care access. There are also international conventions to connect with other optometrists across the globe and discuss emerging technologies to boost eye care standards, among all else. These are only some of the activities that these groups are into, and you can always check them up online.