An Open Letter of Support to the Occupational Therapy Association of the Philippines (OTAP)


To Anthony S. Grecia, PhD (cand), MA, OTR, OTRP, President of the Occupational Therapy Association of the Philippines

As more of the Philippines becomes accessible following Typhoon Haiyan, and we start to see the magnitude of the destruction, it’s almost beyond comprehension. Adding to our sense of disbelief is that it followed the 7.2-magnitude earthquake in the same area just two weeks earlier.

Our colleague Salvador Bondoc, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA, who is Filipino and worked with OTAP during a sabbatical last year, has shared with us that among the many governments and organizations providing relief, “there is a small and mighty band of occupational therapists (and related professionals) doing meaningful work in the form of crisis debriefing following a disaster.” He described for us the work of OTAP’s Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction and Response, a group that was born of necessity since the country has more than twice the coastline of the United States, making it particularly vulnerable to the effects of rising sea levels and global warming. This committee’s response to communities affected by disasters by healing through the power of occupation exemplifies the true spirit of the profession, and we are both proud of and grateful for your work.

The occupational therapy community is more than a group of professionals. We’re family. In that spirit we are offering our support to OTAP, as well as to the many occupational therapy practitioners in the United States who have friends and family in the Philippines. We also encourage our members who want to help to reach out to the charitable organization of their choice to assist with the relief efforts.

From the American Occupational Therapy Association

Ginny Stoffel, President, PhD, OT, BCMH, FAOTA      

Amy Lamb, Vice President, OTD, BS, OTR/L, FAOTA