The Asia Pacific Council of Optometry began in 1978 when the International Federation of Asia and the Pacific Associations of Optometry was formed by Dr. Damien Smith and our very own Dr. Claro Cinco was elected IFAPAO PRESIDENT in 1979. Dr. Antonio Joson was elected APCO PRESIDENT in 2004. In 1983, OAP is the recognized member of APCO and official representative to WCO from the Philippines.
Founding country members were the American Association of Optometry, Australian Association of Optometry, Canadian Association of Optometry, Fiji Optometric Association, Japan Optometric Association, New Zealand Association of Optometry, Optometric Association of the Philippines, and Singapore Association of Optometry.
Together they organized a biennial conference known as the Asia Pacific Optometric Congress (APOC). IFAPAO was restructured and became the regional organization from Asia and Pacific regions with representation on the World Council of Optometry governing board. In 1995, IFAPAO was named as the Asia Pacific Council of Optometry (APCO). Dr. Damien Smith retired as it’s Secretary General and followed by Prof Willard Bleything from Pacific University in Oregon, USA and OAP’s past president Dr. Antonio Joson who served in 2005-07. I was elected member of APCO’s Executive Committee and we elected the following as officers for 2021-23.
The MISSION of APCO is to facilitate the enhancement and development of primary eye and vision care by optometrists in Asia and the Pacific regions. APCO’s goal among others is to enhance and ALIGN the Optometric Education and Practice in Asia and Pacific regions.
It is my hope and aim as your chairman of OAP-IAC to develop clinical optometrists rooted in formal trainings by recognized institutions and not just by attending seminars. For those who are motivated with a heart for service, OAP- IAC might be able to guide you achieve your good intentions.
by: Dr. Melissa B. Anglo
Chair- International Affairs Committee