What is now known as the UP Manila College of Allied Medical Professions (UPM CAMP) officially opened its doors on 8 November 1962 as the School of Allied Medical Professions (SAMP), a unit within the College of Medicine. When it did so, UP became the first University in the country and in Asia to offer a Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy (OT) and in Physical Therapy (PT). Due to lack of space on campus, the Department of Health (DOH) provided two floors of the rehabilitation wing of the National Orthopedic Hospital (NOH) in Banawe Avenue in Quezon City to house the programs. Dr. Benjamin Tamesis, then chief of hospital of NOH, simultaneously served as SAMP’s first Director. On 31 March 1977, the UP Board of Regents (BOR) approved a change of status making SAMP an independent academic unit within the university.
Several international organizations such as WHO, UNICEF, UNDP, UK Colombo Plan, and the US Peace Corps supported the College in its formative years, providing consultants, basic equipment, books, fellowships, scholarships, etc. The first B.S. Occupational Therapy (BSOT) curriculum was developed by Mrs. Charlotte A. Floro and Mrs. Conchita Abad, who had completed a fellowship grant at the Philadelphia School of Occupational Therapy of the University of Pennsylvania in 1952 ; the first B.S. Physical Therapy (BSPT) curriculum by Mrs. Elizabeth Ahlberg (UN Consultant) and Mr. Robert Jacques (British PT Consultant). These curricula were approved at the 695th meeting of the BOR on 13 April 1962. On 26 January 1978, the BOR approved another degree program – B.S. Speech Pathology (BSSP) – which was developed by Ms. Rosella de Jesus who, having received a Fulbright scholarship, had earned a graduate degree in speech pathology at the University of Hawaii in 1975.
Through the years, these programs have undergone curricular evaluation, revision, and updates making them progressively more relevant to the needs of the Filipino. In 1999, the BOR approved the revision of the BSPT from a 4-year to a 5-year program. Major revisions to the B.S. Occupational Therapy program were approved by the University Council in April 2009; this revised curriculum is focused on an occupation-based and holistic approach to therapy.
The first graduates of the College in 1965 – 17 BSPT and 2 BSOT – were mainly nurses from selected regional hospitals. From these 19 enrollees, the College has grown to admit 110 freshmen yearly with an average total enrolment of about 500 undergraduate and 20 graduate students.
Over the past 10 years, the College has consistently ranked 1st or 2nd among all schools nationwide based on the Philippine Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) licensure examinations for OT and PT. Generally, graduates of both programs are among the top 10 examinees. No PRC licensure program exists for SP as of this writing.
On 28 April 1988, as part of the UPM reorganization, the BOR approved the elevation of the School to a College with the intent of securing better opportunities and support for its development goals. One such goal was to offer graduate level programs in OT, PT and SP as well as expand its research and extension services. However, it was only towards the end of the 90’s that the College conceptualized and operationalized its long overdue set of graduate programs. The Master of Rehabilitation Science (Speech Pathology), Master of Rehabilitation Science, and Master of Clinical Audiology were approved by the BOR in 1997, 1998, and 1999 respectively. The Master of Clinical Audiology is managed in collaboration with the College of Medicine. More recently, the Master of Physical Therapy program was approved by the BOR on 27 August 2010.
After being housed at the NOH for almost a decade, SAMP moved to the UP Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) compound by batches, the PT department in 1969 and the Administration and OT department in 1971. The programs were housed in three Marcos-type pre-fabricated buildings. From PGH, the College moved to the old NEDA compound on Padre Faura Street and in May 2010, it transferred to its current home at the academic site of UP Manila along Pedro Gil Street.
Reference: Villegas S.B. (November 2010), Brief History of the College of Allied Medical Professions.