The Sentro Oftalmologico Jose Rizal is committed to enhancing the holistic education of ophthalmologists, medical students, nurses, and allied professionals in quality eye health care; ensuring the sustainability of services in the promotion of eye health care, advancing knowledge, skills, and technology in ophthalmology through teaching and research, establishing  linkages with eye institutions, local and international.


The Sentro Oftalmologico Jose Rizal is envisioned to be a globally competitive, socially responsible, community-oriented and sustainable world-class center committed to excellence in eye care, the prevention of blindness, as well as leadership in ophthalmology in Asia.

History of the department

Under the auspices of the colonial government of the United States of America, the Department of Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat (EENT) of the Philippine General Hospital was established in 1911.  It was subsequently divided into two: the section of Ophthalmology and the section of Otorhinolaryngology, to expand its scope of service.

In 1961, now operating as an institution of the sovereign Republic of the Philippines, the University of the Philippines Board of Regents approved the creation of the Department of Ophthalmology.  Its first chairperson was Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology pioneering president Dr. Geminiano de Ocampo. During this period, a formal residency training program in Ophthalmology was introduced and the subspecialty services were established.

The Sentro

In 1999, the “Construction and Creation of a National Eye Referral Center (CCNERC) in the Philippines Project” was conceptualized to help achieve the national goal of decreasing the incidence of reversible blindness, particularly in the poor areas and the underserved regions in the Philippines. The first step in turning the dream into reality was made on February 2000. The Department was under the leadership of Dr. Manuel B. Agulto, when a memorandum of agreement between the University of the Philippines and the Kingdom of Spain, through the Agencia Espanola de Cooperacion International (AECI) was signed.  

During its July 3, 2001 Fourth Joint Commission meeting with the Philippines, the Spanish Government reconfirmed its support to the health sector.  A total grant amounting to more than eight million US Dollars was given for the construction of a 5-storey eye center, procurement of modern ophthalmic equipment, and training of Filipino ophthalmologists.  For its counterpart, the Philippine government committed the parcel of land where the building is now standing, and the ophthalmology workforce of UP-PGH to man and operate the facility.  

It was then named Sentro Oftalmologico Jose Rizal, which suggests a union of Spain and the Philippines. The SOJR now serves as the pioneering unit in realizing the PGH’s vision of becoming known as one of the best university hospitals in Asia.

Presently, the modern SENTRO houses, among other facilities, the Out Patient Department, which include the General Clinic and Subspecialty clinics, Diagnostics/Treatment, Eye Instrument Center (EIC), Sta. Lucia Eye Bank, Lecture & Conference Hall, Service and Pay Wards, Operating Room Complex, and the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences (DOVS) of the UP-PGH.


Chair: Marissa N. Valbuna, MD, MHPEd

Vice-chair: Raul D. Cruz, MD

Assistant Chair for Training: Milagros M. Herrera-Arroyo, MD

Assistant Chair for Research: Teresita R. Castillo, MD, MHPEd

Assistant Chair for Service: Romulo N. Aguilar, MD

Residents’ Training Officer: Norman M. Aquino, MD

Fellows’ Training Officer: Maria Florentina F. Gomez, MD

The Faculty


  • Dr. Norman Aquino (Service Chief)
  • Dr. Nilo FlorCruz
  • Dr. Ma. Imelda Veloso
  • Dr. Patricia Khu
  • Dr. Margarita Lat-Luna
  • Dr. Cesar Perez
  • Dr. Rainier Covar
  • Dr. Raquel Quiño


  • Dr. Raul Cruz (Service Chief)
  • Dr. Richard Kho
  • Dr. Karen Reyes
  • Dr. Franz Cruz

Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus:

  • Dr. Pauline Santiago (Service Chief)
  • Dr. Marissa Valbuena
  • Dr. Andrea Pajarillo
  • Dr. Michelle Lingao
  • Dr. Pamela Astudillo

External Disease & Cornea:

  • Dr. Ruben Lim Bon Siong (Service Chief)
  • Dr. Ma. Dominga Padilla
  • Dr. Romeo dela Cruz
  • Dr. Ivo Dualan
  • Dr. Richard Nepomuceno

Contact Lens, Optics & Low Vision:

  • Dr. Romeo dela Cruz (Service Chief)
  • Dr. Arnel de Jesus (Low Vision)
  • Dr. Rainier Covar (Low Vision)
  • Dr. James Lee (Contact Lens)


  • Dr. Teresita Castillo (Service Chief)
  • Dr. Rosie Noche
  • Dr. Leo Cubillan
  • Dr. Kristine Bacsal-Flores
  • Dr. Cheryl Arcinue


  • Dr. Milagros Herrera-Arroyo (Service Chief)
  • Dr. Romulo Aguilar
  • Dr. Harvey Uy
  • Dr. Arnel de Jesus
  • Dr. Gregory Germar
  • Dr. Ma. Florentina Gomez
  • Dr. Michael Santos
  • Dr. Junn Pajarillo
  • Dr. Aldous de Leon
  • Dr. Darby Santiago


  • Dr. Alexander Tan (Service Chief)
  • Dr. Kenneth Lagunzad
  • Dr. Armida Suller


  • Dr. Mary Rose Pe-Yan (Service Chief)
  • Dr. Katrina Ranche
  • Dr. Paulo Pagkatipunan

Cataract & Refractive Service:

  • Rich C. Kho (Service Chief)
  • Arnel De Jesus
  • Edmin Michael Santos
  • Alnette Tan
  • Gregory Germar
  • Kenneth Lagunzad
  • Nilo Florcruz
  • Richard Nepomuceno
  • Romeo Dela Cruz
  • Noel Cariño
  • Cesar Perez
  • Alex Tan
  • Raquel Quiño
  • Darby Santiago

Ophthalmic Pathology and Oncology

  • Rolando Enrique D. Domingo (Service Chief)
  • Gary Mercado
  • Pam Astudillo

Services Offered:

  1. Outpatient Department
    • General Clinic
    • Subspecialty Clinics for each seaction
  1. Eye Instrument Center
    • Biometry (Optical, Contact)
    • Ocular B-Scan
    • Macular OCT
    • Optic nerve head OCT
    • Static Perimetry (Humphrey, Octopus)
    • Retinal Camera (Fundus Photo, Disc Photo)
    • Corneal Topography
    • Pentacam
    • Ultrasound biomicroscopy
    • Argon laser
    • YAG laser
    • Diode laser
    • Laser indirect ophthalmoscopy
  1. Operating Room
    • 4 rooms for GA and LA cases
    • 1 minor operating room
    • 6 beds for post-anesthesia care
    • Phacoemulsification machines
    • Posterior vitrectomy machines
    • Crosslinking machine
    • Cryotherapy machine
  1. Inpatient Ward
  2. Sta. Lucia Eye Bank
  3. Philippine Eye Research Institute

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

University of the Philippines College of Medicine – Philippine General Hospital
Taft Avenue, Manila 1000

TELEPHONE: +63-02-554-8400 loc 8502
EMAIL: pghdovs@gmail.com