July 29, 1910, the Philippine Anti-Tuberculosis Society was founded in Manila.
On July 29, 1910, the Philippine Anti-Tuberculosis Society was founded in Manila by a group of Filipinos and Americans to combat the spread of tuberculosis. Its biggest and well-known unit is the Quezon Institute, founded in 1938. The organization is currently known as the Philippine Tuberculosis Society, Inc. (PTSI), and continues to be engaged in the prevention, control, and treatment of tuberculosis in the Philippines.
During the early years of the American occupation, the Philippines was confronted with rampant problems in public health. The most serious among these was the unchecked prevalence of Tuberculosis (TB). In a regional health meeting held in Manila in 1910, an alarming report estimated that there was about 40,000 TB mortality in the Philippines.
After a meeting of concerned citizens and public officials, the Philippine Islands Anti-Tuberculosis Society was
conceptualized and was subsequently approved. Spearheaded by its first president, Mrs. Eleanor Franklin Egan, the society responded to the serious public threat of tuberculosis that affected a significant number of Filipinos.
In 1934, the then Senate President Manuel L. Quezon recognized the severity of tuberculosis as a public health threat. He steered the passage of the Sweepstakes Law that allocated 25% of its proceeds to the Philippine Anti-Tuberculosis Society. In recognition of his support, the Santol Sanatorium, built in 1918, was renamed Quezon Institute in 1938, and was inaugurated by the President Quezon himself. It operated under the prevailing notion that isolation, bed rest, fresh air and nutritious food would cure tuberculosis.
The Second World War abruptly curtailed further activities of the Society. Japanese Army troops occupied the Quezon Institute and ordered the transfer of its medical staff and all patients to the San Juan de Dios Hospital in Intramuros, Manila. The Quezon Institute and the Society’s central office in Manila was stripped bare of all equipment, furniture and records by looters.
After the government reestablishment in 1945, President Sergio Osmena pressed for a legislative appropriation of P1 million to re-activate anti-TB work, P800,000 of which was allotted as aid to the Society. The US Army returned together with army equipment and supplies for the Society, and the Quezon Institute was reopened. In 1957, Pres. Ramon Magsaysay increased the allotment of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes to the Society to P1 million annually.
The Society was subsequently incorporated as Philippine Tuberculosis Society, Inc. (PTSI) on February 29, 1960 and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 11, 1960.
PTSI continues to be engaged in the prevention, control, and treatment of tuberculosis in the Philippines under the direction of its current president Zenaida Quezon Avancena, daughter of the late President Quezon.