Institute on Aging


“Towards healthy aging and quality of life”


The creation of the National Institutes of Health was approved by the Board of Regents at its 1094th meeting on 26 January 1996, and with it, the Gerontology and Disabilities Programs Cluster, through the Committee on Aging and Degenerative Diseases (COMADD). Various physicians, academicians, and allied medical professionals within the University of the Philippines system pioneered the COMADD. Its first Chairman was Dr. Clemente Amante, Vice-Chair Dr. Shelley de la Vega, members Dr. Ramon Abarques, Dr. Jaime Montoya, Dr. May Gose, Dr. Ester Bitnga, Dr. Letty Kuan, Dr. Lourdes Ledesma, Dr. and Alvin Mojica. Within a few years its membership expanded to include Dr. Doris Camagay (Dept. Family Medicine), Ms. Elizabeth Limos (PGH Nutrition), Dr. JD Agapito (UPM CAS), Dr. Araceli Balabagno and Dr. Lydia Manahan (UPCN) , Ms. Gayline Manalang (CPH), Mr. Edward James Gorgon (CAMP)Dr. Alvin Mojica and Dr. Dorothy DyChing-Bing Agsoaoay (PGH Dept. Rehabilitation Medicine).

The Board of Regents of the University approved the establishment of the Institute on Aging (IA) on 04 December 2012, thru a Resolution during its 1284th meeting. Its first members were Shelley de la Vega, MD, MSc (ClinEpi), FPCGM (Director); Maria Stella Giron, MD, PhD (Faculty) and Ms. Angely Garcia, RN, MPH (University Research Associate II).

The Institute is a member of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics-Global Ageing Research Network (IAGG-GARN). The goals of the Institute include the conduct of research in the following Key Areas of Research and Development: longitudinal, multi-disciplinary, and evidence-based research is recommended (NAST Monograph on Maximizing QOL of Older Persons thru Better Health 2005). Research dissemination and knowledge translation are also key goals.

Aside from aging researches and post-graduate courses and trainings in Aging, Geriatrics, and Gerontology, IA is actively involved in the development of policy recommendations, program planning, and creative works, provision of geriatric services through the Geriatric Clinic of the Department of Outpatient Services in the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), and international linkage through the UP-Trento Italy Research Innovation and Staff Exchange (RISE).

In 2016 the Commission on Higher Education approved the inclusion of Geriatrics in the curriculum. The Director Dr. de la Vega sits as a member of the DOH Technical Working Group (TWG) for Health and Wellness of Senior Citizens, TWG Program Review and Planning on Influenza and Pneumococcal Immunization for Indigent Senior Citizens, and Development of Clinical Pathways and Service Packages for Non-Communicable Diseases. Published monographs include Maximizing the Quality of Life of Older Filipinos thru Better Health (NAST), Content Review of the Manual on Caring for the Elderly, Baseline Surveys for the National Objectives of Health, NAST Resolution on Active Aging, “Acute Confusion.” Essentials in Geriatric Medicine, and the two versions (2005 and 2015) of the book Alzheimer’s Prevention, Screening and Management by the Alzheimer’s disease Association of the Philippines.

A few of its completed studies include NIH Policy Baselines for Allied Medical Professions, Status of Gerontology Education in Philippine Medical and Nursing Schools, Status of Dementia Care and Workforce in the Philippines, State of the Art on Researches on Aging in the Philippines, Quality of Life and Healthcare Needs of ICM Sisters, Cultural Validation of the WHOQOL-BREF in Community-dwelling Filipino Older Persons (UP Manila Journal 2013 December), The Asia-Pacific Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Frailty (Journal of Medical Directors Association, 2017), Pilot Implementation of the WHO Dementia Toolkit for Community Workers in Low and Middle Income Countries, and WHO Dementia Field test Project 2018.

COMADD and IA faculty conduct lectures, plenary teachings and outpatient workshops for students of UP in collaboration with the UP College of Medicine, Philippine General Hospital, College of Nursing, CAMP, DSWD NCMB, and COSE. Examples are learning units on Human Development of the Older Person, Communicating with the Older Person, Policies on Aging, Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment in the Outpatient Setting, Geriatric Pharmacology, and Geriatric Physiology.



The Filipino elderly enjoying a healthy body, mind and spirit, being treated with dignity, and valued as a productive member of society, in a dynamic process unique to him/herself, and beginning a life of unlimited possibilities.


To create with the aging Filipino, unlimited possibilities for their value added life through scientific research, training and education, and specialized services.


Goals and Objectives


  • To contribute to national development and improvement of the quality of life of Filipinos as they age.


  • Guide policy makers in the enactment of health laws, policies and guidelines which improve delivery of quality health programs for older persons.
  • Contribute to the enhancement of medical knowledge on aging and geriatrics and improve the practices of health care professionals.
  • Implement research on essential national health issues and concerns on aging.
  • Lead in the formulation of national health research agenda on aging.
  • Disseminate information on healthy and active aging to the general public.

Key Program and Research Areas

The goals of the Institute include the conduct of research in the following Key Areas of Research and Development. Longitudinal, multi-disciplinary, and evidence-based research is recommended (adapted from NAST Monograph on Maximizing QOL of Older Persons thru Better Health 2005). Research dissemination and knowledge translation are also key goals.

  • Healthcare delivery, access and utilization
  • Disability and Welfare Programs
  • Implications of health on retirement and pension schemes
  • Prevalence and longitudinal studies on morbidity and mortality, functional status and disability
  • Major geriatric syndromes
  • Health care delivery systems (type, location, funding, etc.)
  • Rates and reasons for institutionalization or nursing home placement
  • Utilization and access to primary, secondary and tertiary prevention, screening and health maintenance
  • Quality of care in public and private hospitals and clinics
  • Status of human resources and community support services
  • Quality of Care
  • Informatics, Knowledge Translation and Research Dissemination
  • Workforce Training
  • Technology for improved access and environmental mastery of disabled and frail older persons
  • Socio-cultural determinants of health
  • Socio-cultural influences on health and health-seeking behavior
  • Socio-cultural determinants of inequalities in health and quality of life
  • Information technology that supports social connectedness, and enhances access to health care
  • Education of older persons that enhance self-worth, self-management of health problems and functional independence
  • Impact of RA 9994 and other national health policies on health and QOL
  • Impact of RA 9994 on health care expenditure



  • University of the Philippines Wellness Initiative for Seniors and Elders (UPWISE)

Funding: UP System thru the Emerging Interdisciplinary Research (EIDR) Program of OVPAA

  • Focused InTerventions for FRAIL Older Adults Research and Development Program: (FITforFRAIL)

Funding: Department of Health thru the Advancing Health through Evidence-Assisted Decisions (AHEAD) Program

  • Asia-Pacific Clinical Practice Guideline on the Management of Frailty.

  • WHO Dementia Toolkit Pilot Testing 2017 and Field Test Project 2018

Funding: WHO Western Pacific Regional Office and WHO Philippines

  • Status of Dementia Care Services and Workforce in the Philippines

Funding: Department of Health



Shelley De la Vega, MD, MSc (ClinEpi), FPCGM
Professor 2, College of Medicine
Director, Institute on Aging

Maria Stella T. Giron, MD, PhD
Affiliate Research Faculty

Mylene Rose Z. Benigno, RN, MD
Affiliate Research Faculty

Liela R. Ferrer, MD
Adjunct Research Faculty

Angely P. Garcia, RN, MPH
University Research Associate II

Cristopher L. Naguit
Administrative Officer



Jose Alvin P. Mojica, MD, FPCGM
PGH, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

Dorothy DyChing Bing-Agsaoay, MD
PGH, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine
Doris Mariebel D. Camagay, MD, MHA, FPCGM
UP College of Medicine

Josephine D. Agapito, DrPH
UP College of Arts and Sciences

Lydia T. Manahan, RN, MAN, PhD
UP College of Nursing

Araceli O. Balabagno, RN, MAN, PhD
UP College of Nursing

Gayline Manalang Jr. PTRP, MOH, PhD
UP College of Public Health

Francisca Espino-Tan, MD, FPCGM, FPSMO
Medical Oncology, Geriatric and Internal Medicine