In 1955, Mr. Russel Swartely, whose son was a client of Dr. Tablan, asked the help of members of the Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) Lodge #761, a group of prominent foreign businessmen, who eventually agreed and committed to help advocate CP management in the Philippines.

Thus came about the Elks Cerebral Palsy Project, Inc. (ECPPI), whose primary aim and policy is to provide free services to all children and adults in the Philippines afflicted with cerebral palsy, regardless of age, sex, race, color, social status and creed.

The first fund campaign for this purpose was chaired by Mr. Carlos Palanca, a total of PHP90,000.00 was initially raised to build the first CP clinic in Mandaluyong. On January 15,1957, the first CP Clinic was inaugurated with  Dr. Tablan as its first Medical Director, and Mr. Swartley as its Chairman.

In the early 60’s there was an estimated 60,000 known cases of children afflicted with CP in the Philippines.  With only one center, and an increasing number of clients, a bigger facility was needed. Through the efforts of Mr. John I. Manning, a donation was obtained from the William J. Shaw Foundation for the construction of a new and barrier

free building to be built on a 1,500 sq meter lot in Makati which was leased until 2006 by the Ayalas  for a one-peso-a-year fee. Architect Carlos Arguelles donated his services for Foundation and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office the infrastructure concepts

of the building of the Center. The new Elks Cerebral Palsy Rehabilitation Center was inaugurated in July 4, 1971. The buildings were provided by the Elks Club, the Shaw Foundation and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes.

Throughout the years, the CP center achieved a high level of service and commitment to patients and their families. It received several awards of excellence from various entities. The ECPPI served as a fine example of Filipino-American partnership of service.


Presidential Proclamation No. 2437 issued by then Pres. Marcos in 1980 authorized (then) The Elks Cerebral Palsy Project Inc. to conduct a national education and fund campaign for CP. The project was given a Presidential award as one of the top Child Focused Projects in the country. Since then we have conducted annual fund raising campaigns, the proceeds go towards operations of the center and our national education program.

Dr. Tablan was succeeded by Dr. Vicente Gomez in 1992. A renowned Orthopedic surgeon of Makati Medical Center, Dr. Gomez served at the Center until 2001.  In 1998, the Charter was amended to include care for any child with motor disabilities and the name was changed to the PHILIPPINE CEREBRAL PALSY INC. in August 24, 1998.

To date, since its establishment, the CP center has served over 11,000 children and adults afflicted with cerebral palsy, a mere 14% of the total estimated 150,000 CP cases in the Philippines based on a worldwide incidence of 2 per every 1,000 population.

There are many types of CP. The spastics are stiff, the ataxic have balance problems, the athetoids with uncontrollable involuntary movements or a combination of these types. It may involve only one extremity or the entire body. In more severe types, the body can become twisted due to the uneven pull of the muscles resulting in joint dislocations and deformities. More severely involved children can suffer from epilepsy, autism and mental retardation as well as deafness and blindness. Still there are some of these patients who can go to regular school and get married and find jobs. The great majority of CP patients will depend on help from others for the rest of their lives.

In our society, even those who can go to regular school are often marked with the stigma of being disabled and thus “not normal”. They are shunned by society and not given equal opportunities in jobs, denied public access and are even sometimes isolated in society.

In the Philippines, there are more patients with cerebral palsy than those with polio, spinal lesions and all other movement disorders combined. Despite this, there is no government program that addresses this condition, both in treatment and prevention.

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