This article is adapted from "Philippines National Tour" prepared by I. Villar, 2006, which appeared in Wedding, D., & Stevens, M. J. (Eds). (2009). Psychology: IUPsyS Global Resource (Edition 2009) [CD-ROM]. International Journal of Psychology, 44 (Suppl. 1).
Philosophical psychology was taught in the Philippines as early as the seventeenth century. In the 1920s, psychology broke away from philosophy and became closely identified with education until about the 1960s. Following the return of the founding fathers of Philippine psychology from graduate training abroad, activities were aimed at establishing psychology as a distinct discipline. Departments of psychology were set up; institutes and clinics offering psychological services were established. From the handful of schools offering degrees in psychology in the 1950s there are now over two hundred colleges and universities offering a bachelor's degree, twenty offering a master's degree, and five offering a doctoral degree in psychology. From the few school clinics that extended psychological services to the community, there are probably more than a hundred applied psychology groups existing in the Philippines today engaged in testing, therapy, or training. The need is now strongly felt for measures to protect and ensure the competent practice of psychology in the Philippines. It is toward this end that the Psychology Act was proposed. The Act provides for certification of psychometricians and the licensing of practicing psychologists. The main practitioners of psychology in the Philippines are the clinical psychologists and the industrial psychologists. Over the years, the clinical psychologists in the Philippines have achieved greater professional identity and status. Psychotherapy used to be the domain of psychiatrists with psychologists relegated to the task of diagnostic testing. With the increase in the numbers of trained and experienced clinical psychologists and the "enlightenment" of the medical profession, the clinical psychologist now has equal claim to the practice of psychotherapy. There is also a new breed of practitioners typified by the social psychologist based in government and non-government agencies, industrial/organization psychologists based in various industrial settings, and child psychologists based in schools and child-care centers.
Research activity in the Philippines is primarily a function of colleges and universities. However, there is an increase in psychological research activities in government and non-government agencies, health institutions, other institutions of basic education, and most especially, industry. Most research is applied in nature, although the specific type of research work varies greatly. The most popular areas of research are Filipino personality, social and community processes, child development, academic achievement, health perceptions and practices, stress and coping in various settings, and mental health and psychological interventions.
In the Philippines, two types of undergraduate programs are found, the B.A. and the B.S. major in psychology. Following a four year undergraduate curriculum, training in psychology can be completed by two degrees: a Master of Arts or Master of Science (M.A. or M.S.) in psychology and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in psychology. The master's program requires a minimum of two to three years of study, a comprehensive examination, and the completion of a research thesis. The doctoral program also requires a written comprehensive examination and a research dissertation aside from an M.A. degree.
The Psychology Act, regulating professional practice, was passed in 2009.
The Psychological Association of the Philippines has a formal code of ethics, very much based on that of the American Psychological Association, but is reviewing this once more.
Philippine Journal of Psychology, 1968- , 2/year
Philippine Social Science Review, 1929- , 1/year
Updated June 2006