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  • 23 Dec 2021 4:30 PM | PASP Support Team (Administrator)

    The 25th of December marks a special celebration which many people await. It has been tagged as the season to be jolly or even the most wonderful time of the year. More importantly, it is a time to exude the spirit of giving and family, to knit people together, and to send a message of love to others. 

    The past two years has certainly been difficult for everyone; the 2020-2021 officers of the Philippine Association of Speech Pathologists (PASP) are no exception to that. However, the restrictions brought about by COVID-19 at the start of their term did not stop them from achieving one milestone after another. Helping Filipino speech-language pathologists transition to teletherapy, generating communication boards for COVID-19 patients, conducting the first PASP online convention, and collaborating with international institutions—these are only a few among the many achievements of the association. Together, they have gone through the unique experience of navigating their way through a pandemic and keeping their determination to serve and advocate for the profession and its constituents. 

    Before we celebrate the festivities of the holiday season with our loved ones, the outgoing PASP officers would like to extend their gratitude for all the love and support they have received throughout their term. Watch the video below to hear them talk about their experiences as an officer during the past two years and why they are thankful to have gone through all those challenges and victories with a family as tight-knit as theirs.

    Have a wonderful holiday season, everyone!


    Written by: Paolo Capati, Jen Leynes, Kyla Lu, Paula Tison


  • 17 Dec 2021 6:10 PM | PASP Support Team (Administrator)

    It started with Tugon SLP (speech-language pathology)—a collective movement of SLP students against COVID-19. Carl Lora, a then first-year SLP student who co-founded the initiative, had just envisioned a national organization to unite speech pathology students in the Philippines. A year later, the Speech-Language Pathology Students’ Association of the Philippines (SLPSAP) was officially launched.

    SLPSAP is the national organization for SLP students in the Philippines. Its main goal is to instill solidarity, leadership, and passion among speech pathology students from the four universities offering the course(University of the Philippines Manila, University of Santo Tomas , De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute, and Cebu Doctors’ University). Overall, SLPSAP’s objectives, vision, and mission reflect the organization’s aim: to provide an avenue for its members to build strong relationships with SLP students across the country and develop love for service.

    At present, the Executive Board (EB) of SLPSAP is composed of seven members—Carl Lora (President), Tish Canlas (Vice President for Internals), Amelia Luna (Vice President for Externals), Kristel Galeos (Secretary), Kimberly Zuñiga (Auditor), Noah San Pablo (Treasurer), and Maxinne David (Public Relations Officer). In an interview with them, the officers talked about their respective roles and motivation to join SLPSAP’s EB. Noah and Tish shared their desire to take part in a cause that will help people become more knowledgeable of speech pathology. Tish added, “I want people to realize that no matter how small our community is, we’d be able to create these big changes and big differences in the world.” Kim also mentioned how joining the EB has helped her step out of her comfort zone. She gained more confidence in herself and her capabilities as a student leader. When asked about their relationship with each other, Amelia stated that they are a close-knit barkada supporting each other in both organizational and personal matters. Maxinne attested to this, describing their relationship as a “mighty bond.”

    The Speech-Language Pathology Students’ Association of the Philippines Executive Board 2020-2021

    Row 1, L-R: Carl Leann Lora, Maxinne Catrisha David, Kristel Andrei Galeos, Kimberly Callista Zuñiga; Row 2, L-R: Noah Emmanuel San Pablo, Amelia Cecilia  Luna, Margarette Tish Canlas

    In terms of advocacies, SLPSAP is firm in having a significant impact on the number of SLPs in the country. There is still a need for speech therapists, especially in underserved settings,  with only 714 members (as of December 11, 2021) listed in the Philippine Association of Speech Pathologists (PASP) directory. As such, the organization wants to “market the profession” and encourage more students to consider taking up speech pathology as a degree program. Aside from this, the group advocates for the awareness of concomitant conditions and specific disorders faced by SLP clients. Spreading the word on events like Stuttering Awareness Day is a way the members thought of to fulfill this advocacy. Moreover, Carl mentioned that the organization desires to continue the work done through Tugon SLP. They aim to reach out to communities that do not have access to therapy services.

    While the EB did not reveal specific details about their campaigns and events during the interview, they mentioned that these will all aim to showcase what SLPSAP is all about. A sneak peek of their upcoming projects can be found on their social media pages. They also shared their insights regarding the future of the organization. Internally, they hope to have a more organized and well-established system. SLPSAP also envisions growth in the number of members, especially if additional colleges and universities offer an SLP program. Aside from this, they expect to complete the remaining positions in their organizational structure (i.e., other executive committee roles, co-adviser). Externally, the EB sees the organization gaining more recognition since it is still in its pioneering years. They hope that SLPSAP will be affiliated with SLP-related organizations like PASP and other institutions focusing on fields outside speech pathology. In five years, they dream of connecting with organizations outside the country. Essentially, the EB strives to stay true to their objectives while turning SLPSAP into a bigger organization with more advocacies.

    As the interview neared its conclusion, they requested both SLP students and professionals to support and recognize the organization’s endeavors. They hope that SLPSAP can contribute to the growth of the profession and bring out the best in all members of the SLP community. 

    Through SLPSAP’s objectives and advocacies, the future of speech pathology in the country looks promising. The difference that the organization can make for the profession and the populations we serve is definitely something to look forward to in the coming months and years ahead.

    To stay updated about the organization, visit their Facebook and Instagram accounts. 


    Written by: Paolo Capati, Jen Leynes, Kyla Lu, Paula Tison
  • 10 Dec 2021 7:55 PM | PASP Support Team (Administrator)

    The term jack-of-all-trades refers to persons “who can do many different jobs” (Cambridge Dictionary, n.d.). It perfectly fits speech-language pathologists (SLPs) who are capable of working in different fields. They can offer their services in research, health care, and education (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, n.d.). In the Philippines, SLPs can also practice within or outside the National Capital Region (NCR). While there are options on where to work, there is an unequal distribution of SLPs especially in our country. How so? This article will present two underserved settings of the profession.

    There are few SLPs working in the provinces. In the 2019 Survey of Filipino Speech-Language Pathologists, almost 60% of speech therapists in the Philippines practice in the NCR while the remaining 40% are scattered across 16 regions (Philippine Association of Speech Pathologists [PASP], 2020). The SLP to client ratio in the provinces (i.e., one SLP for every 8,108 clients) further emphasizes the difficulty of meeting the needs of Filipinos with communication impairments in remote areas (Ponciano-Villafana, 2018). Evelyn de Vera (Pangasinan), Davilyn Avelina Quilantang (Davao), Mallari Aquino (Pampanga), Viannery Dy Mabag (Cebu), and Genevive Roble-Quinto (Cebu) are five SLPs who share the same passion for working in the province. Listen as they talk about the need for more SLP practitioners, their stories of profound love and commitment to their line of practice, and the positive impact of teletherapy on clients in the province. Viannery Mabag also urges speech pathology students and professionals from Visayas and Mindanao to come back home, provide service, and make a difference in the lives of their kababayan. Watch the video below to find out more.

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    Few SLPs likewise practice in the hospital setting. Most therapists work in private clinics and only 8.3% reported the hospital as their primary work setting (PASP, 2020). Pamela Ching (Philippine General Hospital) believes that speech pathology students should realize the need for hospital-based therapists. She encourages pediatric SLPs who are considering geriatric practice to “go for it.” She shares how satisfying it is to be a part of the hospital setting and to see the effects of her service to clients and their families. As for Carla Cuadro (St. Luke’s Medical Center), her work enables her to emphasize the personhood of individuals. She states how being a medical SLP allows her clients to be seen as more than just their diagnoses. To hear more about their experiences, watch the video below. 

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    As Viannery Mabag puts it, “Daghan kay nanginahanglan ngari karon” [Maraming pasyente ang may kailangan ng ating serbisyo]. Similar to how other countries experience a lack of practitioners in hospitals and rural areas, there is a pressing need for more FIlipino SLPs in these underserved settings. More than the demand for SLPs, the enrichment that medical and provincial practice can bring to one’s life will hopefully encourage SLP students and professionals to consider pursuing practice in these settings. To learn more, read the stories of Camille Veronica Leyba and Aileen Matalog. The video of the UP Collegiate Association of Speech Pathologist’s interview with Carla Cuadro also provides insights into hospital practice.

    In line with the celebration of December 10 as Human Rights Day, the call for more SLPs, especially in provinces and hospitals, is amplified. With more SLP practitioners in these two settings, we can better uphold the right to health of clients who are outside the scope of urban and private clinic practice. Communication rights are highlighted as SLP services play a role in helping people with communication disabilities realize that they have the right to communicate and to experience social participation (McLeod, 2018). The speech pathologists working in hospitals and in the provinces make a strong contribution to the fulfillment of  the PASP mission to “support, develop and expand service...ensuring effective communication and safe swallow for all Filipinos.”  


    References:

    2019 Survey of Filipino Speech Language Pathologists. Metro Manila: Philippine Association of Speech Pathologists; 2020. License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

    American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (n.d.). Speech-language pathologists. https://www.asha.org/students/speech-language-pathologists/ 

    Jack-of-all-trades. (n.d.). In Cambridge Dictionary. Retrieved December 4, 2021, from https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/jack-of-all-trades

    McLeod, S. (2018). Communication rights: Fundamental human rights for all. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 20(1), 3-11. https://doi.org/10.1080/17549507.2018.1428687 

    Ponciano-Villafania, J. (2018). Feasibility of Telerehabilitation in the Service Delivery of Speech-Language Pathology in the Philippines.


    Written by: Paolo Capati, Jen Leynes, Kyla Lu, Paula Tison


  • 07 Dec 2021 12:00 PM | Anonymous


    With the emergence of online learning, a need for supportive distance learning is made paramount. People across the globe were forced to adjust within the text-byte walls of the internet. To adapt to this change, speech-language pathologists worldwide are now shifting their materials from actual toys to interactive online activities - it’s as if the world of therapy made no difference in the year 2020.  Here in the Philippines, a life-changing software was developed to aid and encourage carrying over speech therapy goals at home for the cleft community. With this purpose, Smile Train initiated the speech application project in May 2020. A team of Filipino SLPs, headed by Veronica “Veve” Yu, together with Dazelyn Ku and Georgia Danga, worked on the content of the speech app which was customized for children with cleft-related speech concerns together with the Nifty Hero Multimedia, a web and application development company.

    Initiating the Project

    Smile Train is an international charitable organization that aims to ensure that every child born with a cleft can have a productive and meaningful life. Smile Train has made it its mission to provide sustainable and empowering opportunities to support children and families with Cleft-related concerns. With these, they have adopted a sustainable and local model of multiple support and essential care for this community. Worldwide, many establishments and units of all forms were affected due to the restrictions caused by the pandemic. The therapeutic world was no different. Services that implored face-to-face and contact settings were halted, thus impeding groups from receiving the necessary care and interventions which were primarily received in this setting. With the initiative of Smile Train Philippines, a team of Speech-Language Pathologists and developers were invited to help put this solution into place, with the aim of providing continuous speech intervention, and carry home practice at home.

    Meet the Team

    Ms. Veronica Yu or known by her colleagues as “Veve Yu” started teaching at the University of Santo Tomas in 2018 and handled classes for craniofacial studies. Veve was inspired by a workshop conducted by Dr. Catherine Crowley in 2017, wherein she learned the principles in selecting the target words for drills. As a practicing SLP and collegiate instructor in the study of speech and communication for more than 5 years, she has come to realize that there are very few locally-made Speech therapy materials. The challenge here was how she can make one in our language, the Filipino language. Being the dedicated SLP that she is, she was willing to take extra steps to make sure that she could better serve cleft patients. 

    To make the goal into fruition, a comprehensive tool that can target different linguistic contexts of target sounds as well as consider the accessibility of this tool even at home was visualized. The creation of this tool was made significant with the vision of providing home-care speech and language-rich activities amidst the problem of distance brought about by the pandemic. Considering the load of the project, there was a need to collaborate with different developers specializing in areas from content to application. 

    And so the project started with the coming together of a team of SLPs dedicated to the creation of locally-made, language-rich, speech therapy materials as well as family-friendly activities within reach of a hand even with the distance of a Speech Specialist.  Beginning in May 2020, Ms. Veve Yu came together with fellow Smile Train SLP volunteers, Ms. Dazelyn Faith Ku and Ms. Giorgia Denise Danga.

    In the development of the application, roles were assigned for each team member. Veronica Yu, along with Giorgia Danga, worked on the sentence content to be programmed on the app and stimuli to be presented in the storybooks. Much emphasis was placed on the sensitivity of the sounds and the mechanics of the game. Target sounds for practice were divided for each game, each sound contained in a story of its own. In the selection of stimuli, the team made sure that each storybook would only target a specific high-pressure sound, making sure that these materials not only provided a fun-learning activity but also evidenced-based activity in the improvement brought about by concerns in speech.

    One of the few and unique features of the app is the development of video tutorials for the use of families. Dazelyn Ku, another team member, provided the visuals and tutorials for the app.

    Dazelyn Ku giving a video tutorial on the production of /p/ and /b/ (courtesy Smile Train Speech App)


    The content would not be complete without the creation of a sustainable platform to access these contents. Nifty Hero Multimedia was the web and application developer that collaborated with Speech Therapists in the development of a mobile speech therapy app. The SLP team made rigorous collaborations with the app developer, aiming to bring the app and workbooks to realization through the review of each frame, given the intricacy of the app's activities, and the coding needed to set the activities in motion. 

    The First Filipino Speech Therapy app

    Each member, having their own roles, worked together in the creation of a locally-sourced and accessible speech therapy material: The Smile Train Speech App and its accompanying storybook. Together with Nifty Hero, the genius app developers who worked hand in hand with the SLPs, they developed an application that contains Filipino speech targets that can be used in and out of the therapy providing continuous speech practice at home.

    The Smile Train speech application contains 4 modules targeting the high pressure sounds: /p/ and /b/, /t/ and /d/, /k/ and /g/, /s/ and sh. A separate folder was allotted for other high-pressure sounds that are less common in the Filipino Language such as the sounds ch, dz (j), f, v, m, n, ng, and th.

    Imploring a gamified approach, students produce each sound ten times while moving up the game story and completing the other 4 levels with different interactive games per module to motivate users. These 5 levels contain the linguistic levels of isolation, syllable, word, sentence, and stories or conversation production. Before starting production, a video recording that parents can watch to review the speech sound production will appear on the screen. The app features a record button for auditory feedback.

    From the app, the stories were later on published as books. These books were also made available as digital copies to increase provision of easy access for those who need to train at connected speech level.

    The Smile Train story books

    Filipino Roots 

    When asked what made these materials essential for the community, Veronica Yu stated that these materials provide a way for continuous therapy and learning at home for the CLAP community and its roots in the Filipino language; A Filipino app for Filipino children.

    Aside from the careful creation of evidence-based stimuli for the app, the themes of the storybooks and the app were given careful consideration, giving more significance to the Filipino Culture. For example, Module 1, targeting the phonemes /p/ and /b/ is centered on the theme of being thrifty or Masinop - a known Filipino trait in addition to the celebration of Filipino characteristics. Modules 2, 3 and 4, on the other hand are centered on themes of respectfulness, helpfulness, and Filipino festivities, respectively. 

    /p/ and /b/ game from the Smile Train App (courtesy Smile Train Speech App)


    The Future of Filipino Speech Therapy materials

    What's next?


    According to Veve Yu, there are continuing developments for more localized speech therapy materials. She says that she wants to keep the fire burning in terms of the development of local therapy materials. In fact, some therapy materials are in the process of brainstorming as these projects take a bit of time and focus to make. Amidst the busy schedules, Smile Train has been very supportive of all the works and efforts of Filipino Speech-Language Pathologists such as the current development for a Filipino word list. 

    Just recently, with the collaboration of LeadersProject.org, a Filipino Cleft Screener was developed. Future projects are currently in development such as the creation of Filipino Word games

    In hopes to provide more localized and accessible materials, Ms. Veronica Yu envisions the creation of Smile Train’s Youtube channel with the aim of teaching the families techniques and strategies in providing for their child’s communication needs even at home. What sets this channel apart from existing content is that the videos are personalized for the Filipino people with the use of the Filipino language. In addition to future video content projects, She says it would be great to have a workbook for the parents and the patients to work on. She also added that a more realistic idea would be making Filipino Boom cards specifically for cleft lip and palate patients since most of the Boom cards available today are in English as well as the growing need for technological platforms nowadays.

    Be it the creation of storybooks, new applications and materials, the creation of therapy materials customized in the Filipino language serves as one big step in the continuing service of providing for children’s access to care and improvement for their communicative needs.


    The Smile Train Speech App is now available for download for free at the App store and Google Play.

    Written by: Racela Jian M. Asuncion, Charles Sean O. Cheung, Michelle C. Dungca,



  • 06 Dec 2021 7:47 PM | Anonymous

    The incoming officers of the Philippine Association of Speech Pathologists took their oath of office on December 4, 2021. The ceremony was presided by the 2021 PASP Electoral Board. In attendance were the current Board of Trustees and the outgoing officers. The PRB-SLP Chairperson, Hon. Mae Catherine Sadicon and PRB-SLP Member, Hon. Juan Paulo Santuele also graced the event.


    During the event, Hon. Mae Catherine Sadicon gave a message highlighting the support of the association for the  PRB-SLP. PASP’s outgoing president, Ms. Suselyn Pascual, and incoming president, Ms. Tinnah Marie Balazuela, also spoke during the event. Ms. Pascual honored her co-officers. She credited their contribution for ensuring the success of the numerous projects of the association even when faced with the many challenges that were brought about by the pandemic. Ms. Balazuela gave a glimpse of what she hopes her team will achieve as they take their turn in leading the association. Prof. Fernando Alejandro Ligot, the chair of the Board of Trustees, also gave a message; welcoming the incoming officers and honoring the outgoing officers for steering the organization during the pandemic and making sure that “PASP was business as usual.” A copy of their messages can be read here.

    In closing, Ms. Barbara Munar, chair of the 2021 PASP Electoral Board, expressed her appreciation of the exemplary job that the outgoing officers did for the association and its members in the midst of a very challenging period. She also wished the incoming officers the best of luck as they take over the rein in steering the association closer towards its mission and vision of effective communication and safe swallow for all Filipinos.

    The event was graciously hosted by Ms. Rozelle Francesca King-Bentulan, member of the 2021 PASP Electoral Board.

    The event in pictures:The attendees of the oathtaking ceremony

    The Board of Trustees and the 2022-2023 PASP Officers

    Row 1, L-R: Prof. Fernando Alejandro Ligot, Prof. Judy Damian, Prof. Georgina Mojica, Ms. Suselyn Pascual, Prof. Joyce Marzan; Row 2, L-R: Mr. Iric Santos, Ms. Tinnah Marie Balazuela, Ms. Ma. Carmela Go, Ms. Bea Angela Lozada, Ms. Sheryl Sibug-Wong; Row 3, L-R: Ms. Davilin Quilantang, Ms. Julie Anne Garcia-Rimando, Mr. Jay Katalbas, Dr. Ferdiliza Garcia, Ms. Maria Carisa Lacson; Row 4, L-R: Mr. Vito Garcia, Ms. Aileen Matalog


    The Board of Trustees and the 2021-2022 PASP Officers

    Row 1, L-R: Mr. Iric Santos, Prof. Joyce Marzan, Ms. Kara Basmayor, Ms. Suselyn Pascual; Row 2, L-R: Ms. Camille Leyba, Ms. Tinnah Marie Balazuela, Ms. Dane Raymundo, Mr. Kenny Dizon; Row 3, L-R: Mr. Karl Jamandra, Ms. Aileen Atienza, Mr. Michael Valdez, Prof. Fernado Alejandro Ligot; Row 4, L-R: Ms. Aileen Matalog, Prof. Judy Damian, Prof. Georgina Mojica, Ms. Elinor Bautista

    The 2022-2023 PASP Officers

    Row 1, L-R: Mr. Iric Kevin Santos (Treasurer), Ms. Tinnah Marie Balazuela (President), Ms. Ma. Carmela Go (Membership), Ms. Bea Angela Lozada (External Affairs); Row 2, L-R: Ms. Sheryl Sibug-Wong (Finance & Special Projects), Ms. Davilin Quilantang (Legislation & Public Policy), Ms. Julie Anne Christine Garcia-Rimando (Secretary), Mr. Jonah Jerome Katalbas (Convention); Row 3, L-R: Ms. Aileen Matalog (Public Relations), Dr. Ferdiliza Dandah Garcia (Professional Standards & Ethics), Mr. Vincente Mikael Garcia (Continuing Education & Research), Ms. Maria Carisa Relova-Lacson (Vice President)


    The 2020-2021 PASP Officers

    Row 1, L-R: Mr. Iric Santos (Treasurer), Ms. Kara Basmayor (External Affairs), Ms. Suselyn Pascual (President), Ms. Camille Leyba (Membership); Row 2, L-R: Ms. Tinnah Marie Balazuela (Professional Standards & Ethics), Ms. Dane Raymundo (Continuing Education & Research), Mr. Kenny Dizon (Convention), Mr. Karl Jamandra (Public Relations); Row 3, L-R: Ms. Aileen Matalog (Legislation & Public Policy), Ms. Aileen Atienza (Secretary), Mr. Michael Valdez (Vice President, Finance & Special Projects)

    The PASP Board of Trustees and Electoral Board with the special guests of the event

    Row 1, L-R: Hon. Mae Catherine Sadicon (PRB-SLP Chairperson), Hon. Juan Paulo Santuele (PRB-SLP Member), Prof. Joyce Marzan, Ms. Barbara Munar; Row 2, L-R: Prof. Fernando Alejandro Ligot, Ms. Rozelle Francesca King-Bentulan, Prof. Judy Damian, Prof. Georgina Mojica; Row 3, L-R: Ms. Eleanor Perez with baby Ria, Ms. Aileen Lantin, Ms. Elinor Bautista


    The 2021 PASP Electoral Board

    Row 1, L-R: Ms. Barbara Munar, Ms. Rozelle Francesca King-Bentulan, Ms. Eleanor Perez; Row 2, L-R: Ms. Aileen Lantin, Mr. Perfecto Paolo Sison III



  • 02 Dec 2021 11:53 PM | Anonymous


    “When we secure the rights of people with disabilities, we are investing in our common future.” 

    --- António Guterres (Secretary-General of the United Nations)


    About 15% of the world’s population experience disability (World Health Organization, 2021). Education, healthcare, and employment are likely to be less accessible for them. They are also likely to experience higher rates of violence, neglect, and abuse (United Nations, 2021). The COVID-19 pandemic further aggravates the inequities that limit their participation in society. As larger-scale groups continue to take initiatives such as the formulation of a Disability-Inclusive Response to COVID-19 and guidelines for practice during the pandemic, we can also do our part. How? For this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities (PWD), we echo the call of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to be a disability ALLY. 

    A: Acknowledge and respect individual experiences and disabilities

    We can start working towards inclusivity by understanding PWDs’ perceptions of their disabilities. Respect does not mean looking at a PWD with sympathy, oversimplifying how we talk to a person with a disability, or making unnecessary remarks such as those made by some of the people in this video.  Respect for persons with disabilities is grounded in disability sensitivity (i.e., basic etiquette when interacting with PWDs) and in sincerity in treating them as equals. For instance, we can ask before extending help and we can talk directly to them rather than bypassing them. We can listen to their experiences and empathize with them. Take a look at the stories of Marites Valencia Odarbe, Jay Monterola, Winston Go, Rocel Sison, and Carlos and Friends.

    L: Learn about different disability types

    Not all disabilities are visible. The term disability is defined by CDC (2020) as “any condition of the body or mind (impairment) that makes it more difficult for the person with the condition to do certain activities (activity limitation) and interact with the world around them (participation restrictions).” These limitations and restrictions may manifest in mobility, managing self-care, and establishing interpersonal relationships among others. Individuals with illnesses that are not visible such as chronic pain, chronic fatigue, and mental illness are also considered PWDs (Disabled World, 2021). Learn more about their rights here

    L: Leverage your influence to promote accessibility and inclusion

    We all have different roles in the community, and these roles entail unique circles of influence. Our words and actions can affect the perspectives of the people around us, so why not maximize our platform to take steps towards improving the overall well-being of PWDs in our community? For example, healthcare professionals can work together with public servants to ensure that adequate policies, accessible programs, and inclusive practices in the community are in place. Business owners can provide employment opportunities for PWDs (see how PWD employment in the Philippines works here). Even social media users can advocate for accessibility and inclusion when they share awareness campaigns with their friends online. 

    Apart from using our roles in the community, we can also advocate alongside organizations that share the same passion for promoting the rights of PWDs. Look for initiatives that share our vision for inclusivity and accessibility and support them, whether through volunteering or contributing to their cause. These are just a few examples of projects and organizations we can look into: Tinig AAC, Operation Smile, SmileTrain, Special Achievers, and ATRIEV.

    Y: Yield the floor to people with disabilities to help identify and eliminate barriers

    In our pursuit of a disability-inclusive and accessible post-COVID world, the active involvement of PWDs is vital. When we conceptualize advocacy initiatives for disability responsiveness, it is best to include them in the process. We can consult them about their community’s needs and ways to increase disability inclusion because they directly experience the barriers we are trying to identify and eliminate. ATRIEV hosting disability sensitivity workshops for the general public, Brina Maxino appealing to world leaders for education rights of PWDs, and Ana Kristina Arce inspiring the younger generation of the Deaf community to hone their research skills for advocacy—are only a few examples of how PWDs can effectively lead and self-advocate. 

    As we strive to transition into a post-pandemic era, know that we have a part to play in ensuring that no one is left behind. With PWDs as both our partners and leaders in this journey, we can better work towards achieving disability inclusion and accessibility for all. On this International Day of Persons with Disabilities, let us become a disability ALLY!


    References:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Become a Disability A.L.L.Y. in Your Community and Promote Inclusion for All. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/humandevelopment/become-a-disability-ALLY.html 

    Disabled World. (2021). Invisible Disabilities: List and General Information. https://www.disabled-world.com/disability/types/invisible/ 

    United Nations. (2021). COVID-19 Outbreak and Persons with Disabilities. https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/covid-19.html 

    World Health Organization. (2021). Disability and health. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/disability-and-health


    Written by: Paolo Capati, Jen Leynes, Kyla Lu, Paula Tison
  • 01 Dec 2021 5:35 PM | Anonymous



           

    The Logo of SLPs in Action and GW Food Drive


    The COVID-19 pandemic has put everything to a halt: face-to-face classes, office work, in-person speech therapy sessions, and even programs that were aimed at helping families in need. Despite the physical limitations brought about by the pandemic and the measures to contain it, seven bold Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) saw this as an inspiration to move past the barriers and help those who are heavily affected or mostly in need. With this, the initiative called “SLPs in Action '' was born. The writers were able to have an interview with one of the founders of SLPs in Action, Ms. Wingmay Yves Alegado, CSP-PASP. 


    SLPs in Action is an online initiative that aims to provide online consultation, evaluation, screening, assessments, speech teletherapy sessions and home programs for people with speech, language, and swallowing difficulties across the lifespan. This project is led by  Filipino SLPs composed of the University of Santo Tomas alumni Ms. Wingmay,  Ms. Anna Patricia Talavera, CSP-PASP, Mr. Emanuele Virgil Fernando, CSP-PASP, Ms. Darla Zhana Manalo, CSP-PASP, Ms. Nathalie Andre Galang, CSP-PASP and Ms. Samantha Foja, CSP-PASP, and a University of the Philippines alumna, Ms. Katrina Claire Marcaida, CSP-PASP. Apart from providing therapy services online, they were also able to collaborate with GW Food Drive which aimed to provide meals, grocery packs,  and hygiene kits, to those affected by calamities as well as the less fortunate. 

    A Zoom Meet-Up 

    From left to right: Mr. Emanuele Fernando, Ms. Wingmay Alegado, Ms. Anna Talavera, Ms. Samantha Foja, Ms. Darla Manalo, and Nathalie Galang during the zoom meeting where SLPs in Action was conceptualized.

    It all started with a casual Zoom meet up. Seeing the news about the pandemic and how it affected disadvantaged people, the group decided that they wanted to help. Initially, the team asked “paano tayo tutulong” (how can we help [others]?) and “ano ang pwede nating gawin”  (What can we do [about the situation?])as they were faced with logistical concerns.Recognizing that providing in-person services is not a viable option, the group then realized that they can extend help to people who are in need through virtual means. 

    From this idea, they decided to create SLPs in Action, which formally launched its services on September 7, 2020. The group of SLPs started social media pages on platforms such as  Instagram and Facebook to serve as an avenue for individuals, groups or families who might be interested in availing their services. 

    Idea Into Action 

    In order for the organization to run smoothly, the founders delegated tasks among themselves. For social media management and handling of inquiries, the people assigned are Sam Foja, Lian Galang, and Darla Manalo. On the other hand, Eman Fernando is the one responsible for the publication materials. Anna Talavera and Katrina Marcaida are the heads in service provision, while Ms. Wingmay is the one in-charge of the fund management. 

    May be a cartoon of screen

    A therapy session in SLPs in Action

    The SLPs have one-on-one discussions with inquiring parents to know more about the complaint, and answer questions they have regarding their child’s skills and diagnosis. Clients who inquire in SLPs in Action and avail free consultations include those families who live in provinces, and those who have children with ages 2 to 6 years old. Some families who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic also express interest in SLPs in Action as they cannot afford paid consultations with a specialist. 

    All interested clients reach out to the SLPs via Facebook Messenger where they are asked to fill out a confidential patient form with their concerns and availability for consultation. After checking when the client and speech therapist are both available, the schedule is reserved for them on their corresponding appointment date.

    Another key aspect of SLPs in Action is on building awareness of the profession. From the second day that the pages of SLPs in Action were made public, inquiries from potential clients already came in. Until now, inquiries regarding speech delays of children, milestones of what to expect in speech and language development, and recommendations for home activities that will provide speech and language stimulation are being raised. With this, the founders of SLPs in Action realized that there are still a high number of people who are not aware of the profession as well as the services SLPs offer that could help people with communication and swallowing problems. They saw the importance of promoting awareness, educating people, and sharing reliable information about speech and language concepts, which is evident in their current social media platforms. 


    The team continually advocates for the profession by posting and sharing relevant and reliable information regarding different SLP concepts such as teaching prelinguistic communication skills at home, tips for good vocal hygiene, techniques in communicating with a person with aphasia, and OWLing (Observe, Wait, and Listen).  Moreover, they try to provide facts against the misconceptions that lay people have with regards to speech, language, and swallowing conditions. The UP-UST initiative even considers their free consultations as advocacy activities because they can better explain the conditions to concerned parents and/or caregivers. They aim for “individualized” recommendations to the different difficulties that the clients present so that they could best address his/her needs. 

    Next Steps

    The team behind SLPs in Action began with the next phases of their initiative, which is to provide food and grocery packs to indigent Filipinos. Since they will be giving financial support consistently, they wanted to know that their donations will really reach their target audience; the group suggested choosing a group or organization that is associated with an SLP that is within their circle of friends. They asked around their group of friends and decided based on their choices. Given that Ms. Wingmay is the head of a non-profit initiative called the “GW Food Drive'', they decided to collaborate with this organization.

    Ms Wingmay collects the funds on a bi-monthly (twice a month) basis and donate a percentage of the services’ rates to GW Food Drive. They usually give donations in-cash and ask GW Food Drive to inform them on where the given resources will be used; specifically, the SLPs ask for updates, information about the current project, beneficiaries, date, breakdown, etc.  


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    GW Food Drive projects and their beneficiaries

    GW Food Drive

    “God’s Work,” or simply GW, is composed of compassionate and dedicated volunteers all over the Philippines who are dedicated to “help less fortunate Filipinos during the COVID-19 pandemic through meal distribution & community engagement.” GW was decided by the team due to the drive's pioneers and founders, Jan Gabriel Bulaong and Ms. Wingmay. The drive provides meals, grocery packs and clothes to different charities, orphanages, homes for the aged and areas affected by calamities. Those who are in need of help, regardless of their location in the Philippines, message GW Food Drive for support, and are immediately assisted by the drive’s volunteers. A portion of the funds collected in SLPs in action are donated to GW Food Drive. 

    Since the drive’s conception, they have helped different organizations such as Bahay Aruga, a place that houses children with cancer who are waiting for treatment, Little Sister’s Home for the Aged, Home for the Angels, an orphanage home for abandoned babies, and many more. It is the heart of the founders of SLPs in Action to provide a part of their income to the GW Food Drive. Because of this, the SLP initiative is a consistent collaborator with the said drive, along with different businesses who also aim to help those in need. Some notable collaborations include: Skin potions, San Beda, and  Mr. and Ms. Chinatown. These team ups have helped different groups of people from Jeepney Drivers who lost their jobs due to the pandemic restrictions, children from Tacloban, to typhoon victims from Cagayan and Isabela. To ensure transparency to the said companies and groups who donated, Ms. Wingmay and her GW Team send the breakdown of the expenses to show that they are using the money for its intended purpose. 

    Trials and Triumphs

    “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”  This was true for Ms. Wingmay and  her group of SLPs and volunteers when they were passionately running the two projects. One memorable experience for Ms. Wingmay, is the first outreach program of GW Food Drive in July 2020 with Josefheim Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides shelter to the poor, sick and elderly. She and the other volunteers spent their afternoon in that foundation. During the donation drive, she noticed that there was limited engagement from the other volunteers with the  elderly beneficiaries. Recognizing this, Ms. Wingmay immediately gave a “semi-training” on techniques such as chunking and wait time. It was through this realization and recognition of her role as an SLP advocate that the volunteers and beneficiaries were able to interact and connect with one another. 

    Another experience that Ms. Wingmay described as the “most challenging yet memorable event” was a relief-operation/ project they did last November. During the last quarter of 2020, Typhoons affected areas including Marikina, Isabela, Cagayan, and Albay. Despite having meager resources, she and her team decided to form Operation Ahon, An initiative to help areas affected by the typhoons by delivering food and water. Despite having the donations and beneficiaries to help, they lacked manpower to deliver these goods to the different people. Overwhelmed with the experience, she prayed and communicated her concern with SLPs in action and GW Food Drive. From there, her team members and herself were able to contact different people -  from highschool friends, to relatives, and acquaintances - in the affected areas. Soon enough, everything fell into place. In just a span of 2 weeks, they were able to distribute 100 food packs in Albay, 500 food packs in Isabela, 200 food packs in Marikina and boxes of water bottles to areas that did not have access to clean water during those times. It still amazes Ms. Wingmay how this was all accomplished through connection and collaboration with the team members, partners, and volunteers. 

    The external and internal impact

    With the extensive reach that SLPs in action and GW Food Drive have in their almost two years of operations, there is no doubt that their programs have made an impact on the people that are involved in these initiatives - whether it is their partners, the online space or the founders themselves. 

    Ms.Wingmay witnessed the effect of their initiatives as they were able to see the gratitude of the beneficiaries towards her and her team of volunteers, as well as their demeanor of relief upon receiving donations. These beneficiaries would also make the most out of the donated goods by making something new out of what they are given to sustain their livelihood. For Ms.Wingmay, the impact was made, not only because the organizations provided for their beneficiaries’ basic needs, but also because they reached out to the people and engaged with them. Another proof of the impact they have made was the lasting memory that their beneficiaries have of them - they will always be remembered as the group who went out of their way to help others. Moreover, Ms. Wingmay also observed that groups that they have helped also began to have subprograms that aimed to help others as well, or they would share the excess of the donations to those who are in need. For Ms.Wingmay, this is by far, the most beautiful impact that their initiatives made externally.

    The two projects also gave Ms. Wingmay different insights about being a person and an SLP. As an individual, she realized that kindness really goes a long way - no pandemic, lockdown, or restrictions can hinder the kindness that people have towards others. She mentioned that when individuals have kindness within themselves, everything and anything is possible, no matter how young a person is, or where they are in the world. 

    As an SLP, on the other hand, the two initiatives helped her keep in mind that helping people does not have to be within the scopes of speech and language. Different professionals can go beyond their area of expertise and still make an impact in the lives of others. With this, she became more determined to continue helping others through these initiatives. 

    The future for SLPs in Action and GW Food Drive

    A Zoom interview with Ms. Wingmay Alegado  last November 13,2021 with UST Advocacy Interns Johanna Mariano and Martina Soriano  (clockwise, starting from the upper left)


    When asked about their future plans for SLPs in Action, Ms.Wingmay shared that they will still continue to provide SLP services to the public, as well as providing free consultation, evaluations, teletherapy sessions, and home programs. Aside from this, they will raise awareness to the SLP profession even further. In Ms. Wingmay’s words, they would like to “use SLPs in action as an instrument to inform the people when to consult SLPs, (to address) misconceptions about the different Speech, Language, and Swallowing conditions'', and to encourage people to consult SLPs should concerns arise. 

    For GW Food Drive, on the other hand, Ms.Wingmay is hopeful that they will still be able to help Filipinos in need but she and her team aim to provide more consistent programs to their beneficiaries. They are planning to promote sustainability by creating programs that can help with their target foundations’ livelihood, such as gardening activities, that will later on establish the foundations’ food security. Moreover, they still desire to expand their reach to more areas in the Philippines. 

    Final words

    “Even as an SLP, you can still be a helping hand to those in need (by) participating with these kinds of organizations or with these kinds of pages. You can cater your own service, your own skills, as an SLP but at the same time (donate) to those in need." - Ms. Wingmay Alegado

    Gratefulness exudes from Ms. Wingmay as she desires to give thanks to their beneficiaries. She wants to thank them for having an open heart in welcoming her and her team, and for teaching them lessons and values that they would never learn in books - these are lessons that she will treasure forever. 

    Ms. Wingmay and her team of SLPs and volunteers spread the message that with whatever skills, profession, and resources we have, we can make a difference. No barrier is too high or difficult to overcome for those who have kindness, compassion, and determination to be able to uplift and empower others. For those who are willing to join the initiatives, you may contact SLPs in Action and GW Food Drive through their Instagram and Facebook accounts. 

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gw_fooddrive/https://www.instagram.com/slpsinaction/ 

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/slpsinaction/https://www.facebook.com/GWFoodDrive/ 

  • 31 Oct 2021 1:16 AM | Anonymous

    No description available.

    The AAC SIG, the first special interest group of the association, releases the first issue of the AAC SIG Newsletter in time for the celebration of AAC Awareness Month. The newsletter will be published biannually. It will feature the activities and plans of the SIG, as well as news about relevant professional development or advocacy activities outside the SIG.

    The current officers of the SIG, Ms. Barbara Munar (head), Mr. Jeremiah James Pinca (assistant head), and Mr. Alrenzo Ludwig Domingo (secretary) together with Ms. Ellyn Cassey Chua acted as members of the editorial board of this first issue.

    The AAC SIG is also looking for volunteers to help in its upcoming projects. The link to the volunteer sign-up form can be found in this issue. 

    You may download the newsletter here: AAC SIG Newsletter, Vol. 1, Issue 1, Oct. 2021.

  • 21 Oct 2021 7:00 PM | PASP Support Team (Administrator)

    Blowing Babbles is a team of four Filipina Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) who share the same passion for creating therapy materials: Jacy Alfaro, Ina Caramoan, Nicole Pingol, and Indiana Ramos. As a passion project launched last July 2020, Blowing Babbles aims to (1) create innovative therapy materials for the benefit of parents, therapists, and teachers, (2) advocate for SLP clients through awareness-raising initiatives, (3) form partnerships with local artists for the creation of physical and digital products, and (4) support other local SLP ventures.

    Guided by their team’s purpose, Blowing Babbles develops relevant and useful therapy materials, including Boom Cards and digital worksheets. Visit them at their Facebook and Instagram pages, or their Teachers Pay Teachers and individual Boom Learning stores.

    The Founding Roots 

    In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a change in the service delivery of SLPs as clinicians transitioned to utilizing teletherapy since face-to-face sessions were put to a halt. In July of that year, Indy approached her university batchmates – Jacy, Ina, and Nicole – who were individually designing Boom Cards for their respective clients. She presented a proposal to them detailing the potential projects, roles, and objectives of a new endeavor. Not long after, the planning for the Blowing Babbles  commenced. 

    All were eager to be part of this collaboration in the pursuit of serving clients. For Nicole, the venture was one way to reach a larger audience, as each of the clinicians had a significant number of followers on their accounts. Ina believed that starting this undertaking as a group paved the way for varied insights and contributions when crafting and marketing products. Jacy talked about how this pursuit  would open doors for collaborating with other SLPs, artists, and other allied health professionals. Blowing Babbles would be an avenue to spread awareness about the SLP field in the country. The clinicians were ready to brave the adversities of establishing Blowing Babbles  amidst the pandemic, driven by their unified aim to better help the Filipino patient.

    During the early stages of the project, Ina and Jacy took care of financial matters. Indy and Nicole created publication materials to be posted on different social media platforms. As Blowing Babbles grew, the delegation of duties became more flexible. Generally, the four help one another with whatever needs doing. The trust and rapport they now have with each other allows them to freely express their concerns or need for assistance. We see in Blowing Babbles the vitality of open communication and team synergy that leads to successful management of their operations. 

    A Step Further: Turning Visions into Actions

    The four manage Blowing Babbles together, but design and develop materials individually  Each therapist releases products depending on their needs and availability. Distribution dates are variable. This flexibility decreases stressors due to deadlines. A Boom card created by a member is shared to the group with a library consisting of everyone’s work. They collaborate by leaving comments, reviewing details (e.g., grammar, layout), and making consequent changes to a Boom card or deck accordingly. They value the moral support that comes from this working pattern.

    The goal, the interface, the price point, and the relevance are main factors the team considers. Before joining forces, all four were already creating Boom cards to meet  specific needs of their clients. The goals they want their clients to achieve has been the primary foundation of their materials. Then comes the overall layout. How every element is presented (colors, aptness of tasks, kinds of clipart, etc) has an impact on both the clinician and the client. The appropriateness and convenience of the interface, then, proves to be vital. The team also examines and compares their Boom cards to other products from various online marketplaces (e.g., Boom Library, Teachers Pay Teachers) to gauge the price range for materials targeting similar goals. They also consider whether this particular product  should be released free of charge or for a fee.

    Blowing Babbles has collaborated with other Filipino teacher-authors for the BOOM CARDS FOR A CAUSE (#BoomCardsForACausePH) project held last November 2020, raising funds by selling Boom decks and donating the proceeds to the victims of typhoons Rolly and Ulysses. They also participated in the Independence Day Giftaway held last June 2021 which aimed to increase public awareness of Filipino Boom Learning Creators in the country.

    In addition, Blowing Babbles disseminates information about the field to their Facebook and Instagram followers by sharing relevant publication materials and infographics. Ina’s advice for aspiring SLP creators is to communicate with others who pursued the same line of work. There is a Facebook Page for Filipino Boom Card Sellers who organize philanthropic events and fundraisers. Opportunities to help other people are many. 

    Their journey with Blowing Babbles has been an insightful and interesting experience. The initiative has built its roots during the pandemic which is undeniably a difficult time for everyone. However, the four found a reprieve with Blowing Babbles. As Indy says, “During difficult times, there’s this” because Blowing Babbles gave her something to look forward to. Moreover, it provided them with an opportunity to reconnect with each other. In that period of uncertainty, they underwent another adjustment ー teletherapy. Nonetheless, amidst all the challenges, they found companionship, forming a bond that reminds each of them that they are not alone. In the face of adversities, such connections keep us going. Blowing Babbles became their silver lining. 

    Blowing Babbles is more than just a project for these four speech-language pathologists. Nicole sees their journey as a learning opportunity and experience. The creation of materials brings her to conduct a deeper task analysis, needed for identifying the goals that she can target using what she creates. Jacy points out that Blowing Babbles is a conducive environment for growth. Blowing Babbles has strengthened their friendship and provided them with means to grow as clinicians together. Their familiarity with one another certainly helped Ina describe the dynamics between them as light and easy with no need to work on building rapport. 

    Jacy says that being part of the Community of Filipino Boom Card Sellers on Facebook and Boom Learning communities is ideal. The Boom Learning community is itself interactive and reassuring; participants voice their concerns and the operators reply to them and respond to their needs. Blowing Babbles has allowed the team to foster a greater awareness of the speech-language pathology profession. People message them to learn more about SLP, and they are able to talk about the profession and the services that SLPs provide. 

    The experiences of Ina, Indy, Jacy, and Nicole show how this joint venture opened doors for them to collaborate and contribute to the profession in ways outside of the usual clinical setting. The path they took did not come without challenges, but the challenges could always be overcome. The four of them were able to build a bridge between vision and reality, and this allowed them to apply their talents to contribute to and advance the SLP profession. 

    Paving the Way: To Grow and To Inspire 

    What is in store for Blowing Babbles? First, they plan to continue creating teletherapy materials  for the various communities they cater to. Nicole stated that introducing new materials would increase client engagement with the activities. Jacy stated their aims to create more relevant and useful content and to explore other mediums such as home delivery of physical materials. Second, they aspire to utilize their social media accounts to spread awareness about the profession. They believe that SLPs should not only advocate for their clients, but for themselves as well. Last, they wish to act as a bridge that connects caregivers or families to SLPs that could provide them with either face-to-face or teletherapy services. 

    The founders imparted a message to SLPs who are planning to venture into the field of material creation. Nicole and Jacy view material creation as a means for better service delivery, as they perceive that creating materials that are tailor fit to their clients yields beneficial outcomes such as higher engagement. There is also a sense of fulfillment in knowing that the clients enjoy the materials presented to them. Moreover, Nicole proposes the utilization of other talents or skills, as they can be beneficial in the SLP practice. Entering the field of material creation will serve as an avenue to help other SLPs, occupational therapists, parents, and clients all over the world.

    Speech-language pathologists have an extensive reach and a diversity of potential paths that they could take within the profession, and this is a fact that should not be overlooked but instead maximized. Our unique endeavors should not be isolated from the profession, and what must be attempted instead is a convergence. These talents could be utilized to further our purpose as SLPs which is to contribute to the betterment of the SLP clientele as well as the SLP profession. 


    Written by:

    Ana Sophia F. David, Maria Blanquita M. Salvador, Regina Ariane DR Tayag, Kristine A. Villena

  • 11 Oct 2021 7:00 PM | PASP Support Team (Administrator)

    Speech-language pathology remains a developing profession in the Philippines. It is undeniable that there are several aspects that need to be further explored and understood. After all, the contextualization of practice is critical for individualized and holistic service delivery. At present, there exist hurdles that pose challenges to the profession, but the officers do not view these as hindrances. Rather, they regard such barriers as a catalyst or a springboard for growth and success. Certainly, the aspirations of the officers for the organization and the profession hold great promise in advancing the current SLP practice in the country. What are the issues and concerns uppermost in the minds of our incoming officers?

    The limited presence of SLPs in certain settings, such as in schools, hospitals, and remote areas. 

    TM Balazuela contrasted the educational model with the medical model of service delivery. In the US and China, where she has worked as a school-based SLP, their utilization of the educational model paved the way for intervention goals to be aligned with the core curriculum of the child’s school. In this manner, targeting language and literacy skills was always framed within the context of education. This allowed SLP screening and management to be provided earlier in the schools. The educational environment gives the SLP an opportunity to view children in varied situations, such as in their interactions with classmates and during extracurricular events, which are often not observed in the clinic setting. The medical model employed in the Philippines generally involves waiting for the physician’s assessment before a client is referred to an SLP. Also, clients attain services by going to hospitals and clinics, not schools. However, in spite of the benefits offered by the educational model, implementing this in the Philippines will be challenging. TM advocates for the integration of the educational model, as this allows clinicians to see the child more holistically, rather than centering on their disability.

    Aileen Matalog, on the other hand, shared her passion for working in a hospital-based setting. She stated that she personally feels and knows that Filipinos need SLPs in the hospitals, especially for the adult and geriatric practice. This is increasingly relevant given the increasing median age of the Philippine population; more aging Filipinos will need our services. Only a small number of SLPs cater to medical conditions such as stroke, head and neck cancer, kidney failure, chronic heart diseases, and dementia. The clinicians who do work with these populations are generally clustered in Metro Manila. To address this, she strives to encourage practitioners to work in their local communities, so that services can be accessed not only in the hospitals but at the barangay level and in primary healthcare units. Guiding the community will help the members to become more empowered and independent in carrying out basic screening and management approaches. In areas wherein SLPs are not available, Aileen contemplates the possibility of SLPs educating other professionals who are typically greater in number to administer some assessment and intervention practices. 

    Similarly, Bea Lozada discussed the barriers to accessing services, particularly the lack of SLPs in areas outside of NCR and its neighboring regions, such as in provincial communities. Free online therapy projects (i.e., virtual TheraFree) can be explored to reach clients amidst the pandemic.

    The fundamental role of the client’s family in intervention. 

    Julie Garcia-Rimando talked about her interest in the beliefs of different Filipino cultures with regard to learning language. Certain pamahiin (superstitions) among families that particular practices hinder language development may contradict with the clinical knowledge of therapists. Nonetheless, these traditional notions should be acknowledged and respected, rather than dismissed because perspectives of families are critical in the intervention process. The clinician and caregivers should aim to communicate openly with one another to meet halfway, always prioritizing the welfare of the child. 

    Carmela Castillo-Go highlighted how family dynamics are pivotal to successful therapy. Looking into patterns, interactions, and roles of relatives provides the clinician with a more comprehensive view of the client. Maximizing family coaching and involvement results in intervention approaches being more readily and consistently carried over at home. Carmela points out that SLPs do not usually spend only one year with the child, but become lifelong partners with their family. In addition, Carmela spoke about connecting SLPs through establishing or strengthening chapters per province (e.g., Batangas, Pampanga, Baguio, etc) so that therapists have support in their geographic area. 


    Caysa Relova-Lacson mentioned early intervention as an area that she regards highly. In her 25 years of practice, she has several clients whom she met as toddlers and who are now thriving in their respective college universities or areas of employment. She also recognizes that financial capability is a hindrance in accessing SLP services in the Philippines. There are families - and they are not few - who have had to discontinue their participation in therapy due to financial constraints.

    The SLP Law and the future direction of PASP

    The enactment into law of RA 11249 (the Speech Language Pathology Act of 2019, or what is often called the SLP Law) has served as a catalyst for PASP to work towards becoming the accredited integrated professional organization (AIPO) which will strengthen the organization’s legal authority and credibility. The regulation of practice through the SLP Law serves to protect the profession, its members, and the clients and their families) from the pseudo-therapists who continue to pose risks against the profession and its stakeholders. Furthermore, Jay Katalbas pointed out that the existence of licensure within the profession will strengthen and reinforce the credibility of SLPs as professionals who manage communication and swallowing.


    Iric Santos and Dav Quilantang talked about the need to heighten membership engagement (i.e., involvement in projects). At present, there are SLPs in the Philippines who are not members of the organization. It is Iric’s aspiration that PASP be seen as an organization that is beneficial to individual clinical practice, because it makes seminars or continuing education available, but also because practitioners recognize PASP as a community and an avenue that fosters collaboration and growth. 

    Like Aileen Matalog, Iric looks forward to the development of SIGs; he sees the SIGs as a venue for SLPs who specialize in the same area to interact, discuss, and develop research projects specific to that area. He believes that empowering SIGs will be beneficial for the profession, as it will advance specific areas of practice. Dav likewise recognizes the need to provide more opportunities for research. She also feels that increasing the employment of SLPs in government institutions is pivotal. Raising the salary grade of clinicians in government hospitals (possible once the licensure process is implemented by the Professional Regulatory Board of Speech Language Pathology or PRB-SPL) can motivate more practitioners to work in this setting. Jay stated similar beliefs and specified the need for the generation of localized research. He recognizes that current norms exist (e.g., consonant acquisition norms), but they may not be applicable to the entire population; research to develop norms for the Filipino population is needed. After all, the profession should specifically aspire to serve the Filipino people.

    The varying roles of SLPs for particular clientele and situations. 

    Vito Garcia raised an interesting point for discussion regarding the relationship between SLPs and the deaf population. He explained that SLPs have an established role and objective when providing aural habilitation. However, those objectives may not apply within the deaf community. This creates a point of interrogation and re-evaluation — what is our role as professionals who engage with the deaf community? This perspective can also be applied with other clientele. There is a need to consider and question whether our management is based on preconceived ideas of how the client should function within society. Ferdz Garcia talked about her experience regarding the role of SLPs in disaster risk reduction and management in low resource settings, improvement of accessibility in low resource areas wherein SLP services are not available, and advocating and lobbying for programs and policies among private and public institutions in the country. All of these strengthened her advocacy of and passion for inclusive development, especially with regard to excluded populations who may be at risk for communication and swallowing disorders such as women, children, older people, and indigenous people. She recognized the need to promote communication for participation at all ages and for all communities because the end-goal of SLP support and service provision should always be societal participation and integration. Swallowing must also be valued because in our culture meals and mealtimes are a center point for socialization; a decreased ability to swallow decreases not only nutrition but also social participation.

    Ultimately, all the officers’ unique insights and visions for the SLP practice in the Philippines are worth exploring. The consolidation of their diversities—the differences in their personal values, advocacies, and goals—and alignment of these principles with PASP’s primary purpose will be vital to the advancement of the Speech Pathology discipline, profession, and services in the Philippines not just for practitioners, but for the individuals that these clinicians serve as well.


    Written by:

    Ana Sophia F. David, Maria Blanquita M. Salvador, Regina Ariane DR Tayag, Kristine A. Villena


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