“Revised Optometry Law of 1995.”
Acts Constituting the Practice of Optometry - Any of the following acts constitute the practice of optometry:
- The examination of the human eye through the employment of subjective and objective procedures, including the use of specific topical diagnostic pharmaceutical agents or drugs and instruments, tools, equipment, implements, visual aids, apparatuses, machines, ocular exercises and related devices, for the purpose of determining the condition and acuity of human vision to correct and improve the same in accordance with subsections b, c and d hereof;
- The prescription and dispensing of ophthalmic lenses, prisms, contact lenses and their accessories and solutions, frames and their accessories, and supplies for the purpose of correcting and treating defects, deficiencies and abnormalities of vision;
- The conduct of ocular exercises and vision training, the provision of orthoptics and other devices and procedures to aid and correct abnormalities of human vision, and the installation of prosthetic devices;
- The counseling of patients with regard to vision and eye care and hygiene;
- The establishment of offices, clinics, and similar places where optometric services are offered; and
- The collection of professional fees for the performance of any of the acts mentioned in paragraphs a, b, c, and d of this Section.
Prohibition Against the Unauthorized Practice of Optometry - No person shall practice optometry as defined in Section 3 of this Act nor perform any of the acts constituting the practice of optometry as set forth in Section 4 hereof, without having been first admitted to the practice of this profession under the provisions of this Act and its implementing rules and regulations: Provided, That this prohibition shall not apply to regularly licensed and duly registered physicians who have received post-graduate training in the diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases: Provided, however, That the examination of the human eye by duly registered physicians in connection with the physical examination of patients shall not be considered as practice of optometry: Provided, further, that public health workers trained and involved in the government’s blindness prevention program may conduct only visual acuity test and visual screening.
Qualification of Board Members
Only persons possessed with the following qualifications may be nominated and appointed to the Board:
- A natural-born citizen of the Philippines;
- A duly registered optometrist of good standing;
- At least thirty-five (35) years of age at the time of his appointment;
- Of good moral character; and
- In active practice of the profession for at least ten (10) years prior to his appointment: Provided, That a person who is a member of the faculty, whether full time, part time or lecturer of any school, college or university where a regular course in optometry is taught, or who has any pecuniary interest, directly or indirectly, in such an institution must forego his membership in said faculty or relinquish his interest in said institution before or upon taking his oath as a member of the Board: Provided, further, That an officer of any optometric association is disqualified from being appointed to or serving in the Board.
Republic Act No. 8050
An Act Regulating the Practice of Optometry, Upgrading Optometric Education, Integrating Optometrists, and for Other Purposes
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:
Title. - This Act shall be known and cited as the -Revised Optometry Law of 1995.
Declaration of State Policy. - The State recognizes the essential role of optometry as a profession in safeguarding and enhancing the health and general physical well-being of the citizenry. Optometric services shall therefor be promoted as a regular component of the primary health care system.
Section 3. Definition of Terms-As used in this Act, the following terms shall be defined as follows:
- Optometry - The science and art of examining the human eye, analyzing the ocular function, prescribing and dispensing ophthalmic lenses, prisms, contact lenses and their accessories and solutions, low vision aids, and similar appliances and devices, conducting ocular exercises, vision training, orthoptics, installing prosthetics, using authorized diagnostic pharmaceutical agents (DPA), and other preventive or corrective measures or procedures for the aid, correction, rehabilitation or relief of the human eye, or to attain maximum vision and comfort.
- Optometrist-A person who has been certified by the Board of Optometry and registered with the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) as being qualified to practice optometry in the Philippines.
- Optometrist in good standing - A registered optometrist who is authorized to practice the profession in the Philippines by virtue of a valid certificate of registration and a valid professional license issued by the PRC for the purpose.
- Diagnostic Pharmaceutical Agents Ð Specific topical drugs used to aid optometrists in their examination of the human eye. Until otherwise specified by the Board of Optometry, upon approval by the Secretary of Department of Health (DOH) upon the recommendation of the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD), these agents shall be limited to the following:
- Phenylephrine 2.5% ophthalmic drops;
- Tropicamide 0.5% ophthalmic drops;
- Proparacaine 0.5% ophthalmic drops;
- Oxybuprocaine HCL 0.4% ophthalmic drops; and
- Fluorescein strips
- Certificate of Registration - A document, signed by the Commissioner of the PRC and by all members of the Board of Optometry and bearing its seal, issued to an applicant who has satisfied the requirements for the practice of optometry. It shall serve as proof that the registrant is qualified to practice the profession in the Philippines.
- Professional License - A renewable card, issued by the PRC to a registered optometrist, indicating that he is competent and authorized to practice optometry in the Philippines. Until the loss of its validity or its expiration, such license shall serve as evidence that its bearer is an optometrist in good standing.
- Code of Professional Ethics - A set of standards relating to the conduct, integrity and moral duties of ptometrists, as prescribed by the duly integrated and accredited national organization of optometrists and adopted and promulgated by the Board of Optometry upon the approval by the PRC.
By virtue of Public Act No. 2245 enacted on February 11, 1913, the Board of Optical Examiners was created and placed under the Department of Interior. With the reorganization of the government in 1932, the Board was then attached to the Department of Public Instruction.
On June 22, 1957, Republic Act No. 1998, entitled “An Act to Regulate the Practice of Optometry in the Philippines,” was enacted repealing Chapter 33 and Section 2680 of the Administrative Code.
The law was later repealed and superseded by Republic Act No. 8050, entitled “An Act Regulating the Practice of Optometry, Upgrading Optometric Education, Integrating Optometrists, and for Other Purposes,” enacted on June 7, 1995. This law provides for a six-year Optometry Course. The first year of implementation started during the school year 1998-1999.
Under this Act, competence in Pharmacology was required of persons who have been admitted to the practice of Optometry before the passage of Republic Act 8050. They must take a course in Pharmacology to be prescribed by the Commission on Higher Education and pass a Special Certification Examination in Ocular Pharmacology for optometrists to be administered by the Board, before they are allowed to use specific diagnostic pharmaceutical agents.
Integrated Philippine Association of Optometrists (IPAO), Inc.
Unit G-4, RSG Urban Homes Condominium
35 6th Avenue
Cubao, Quezon City
Telefax: 386-3546 / 809-8626
Re-accredited: Res. No. 01 dated April 12, 2011
The first organization of optometrists in the country, the Optometric Association of the Philippines, was organized in 1947. In 1979, the association was renamed Samahan ng mga Optometrists sa Pilipinas, Inc. (SOP), and later Philippine Association of Optometrists, Inc. in 1996. In 1997, it was again renamed the Integrated Philippine Association of Optometrists (IPAO).
The Association’s main objectives are to continuously evaluate and upgrade the standard of the optometry profession and to protect the profession and the public.
In 1997, IPAO won the biggest delegation award in the biennial meet of the Asia Pacific Congress where it sent 36 delegates. That same year, the PAOI Council on Educators’ Curriculum project was finalized and became instrumental in the formulation of the New Policies and Standards for Optometric Education. The curricular policies also became the basis for the implementation of the new six-year course that commenced in 1998.
Passage of the Optometry law of 1986 which provided for the The IPAO has 70 affiliated chapters here and abroad. With an estimated membership of about 4,000 licensed optometrists, IPAO remains to be the biggest and most active organization of optometrists in the Philippines today.