Ten out of 11 visually-impaired clients from the Area-1 Vocational Rehabilitation Center (AVRC-1) flagged a 99% passing rate in the 2015 Massage Therapy Licensure Examinations (MTLE) administered by the Department of Health (DOH).

The new licensed massage therapists are all from Pangasinan: Julie Austria from San Carlos City; Jennifer Cabasa, Tayug; Bong dela Fuente, Calasiao; Gerard Dulay, Lingayen; Conchito Napata, Florante Ortiz, Maria Lyn Sanchez, Irene Sobredo, Christina Adasen, and Romeo Valencia all from Dagupan City.
Written and oral/practical components of the Licensure Examination were done on 10 December 2014 and 09 March 2015 in Baguio City, respectively.

The group underwent review classes at the Center at least three (3) times a week from August to October last year in coordination with the Central Luzon Alternative Health and Development (CLAHD). Former AVRC-1 visually-impaired trainees Arjhessa Espiritu and Stephanie Llanes-Senin were the hired reviewers from CLAHD.

As explained by Center Head Elizabeth C. Manuel, the DOH created the Committee of Examiners for Massage Therapy (CEMT) to regulate the practice of massage therapy in accordance with the provisions of the Sanitation Code of the Philippines (PD 856) and Executive Order No. 102 s. 1999, Reorganization and Streamlining of the Department of Health. The CEMT ensures that only qualified individuals enter the regulated profession of massage where care and services are provided within the standards of practice.

For AVRC1, it will continue to contribute to advance the Massage Industry in the Philippines. Its mission of 5-decade pursuit of excellence, quality, and innovative thinking for programs and services will increase the number of visually-impaired persons to be mainstreamed to the labor workforce. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II with report from AVRC-1 Center Head Elizabeth C. Manuel)