Blindness separates us from things but deafness separates us from people--Helen Keller.

It is against this quote that the government, together with their partners had met and synergized their efforts in the development of a National Hearing Conservation Program. The activity was done last May 2-4, at Clark, Pampanga. Under the proposed program, hearing tests shall be a mandatory part of the new born screening. Trainings for physicians as well as other health workers as well as the improvement of health care facilities are also in the pipeline.

Not to be left behind is the DOLE’s Occupational Hearing Loss Program which is also a part of this National Program. Occupational hearing loss is defined as damage to either or both ears, at the inner ear or auditory nerve, that results from an exposure in a person's occupation.

At present, hearing loss prevention program (HLPP) is a mandatory requirement for establishment which produced excessive noise. The program requires that every facet of the problem is addressed. It involves a comprehensive effort consisting of the following elements: (1) performing initial and annual audits of the work environment, labor and management needs, and HLPP procedures; (2) assessment of noise exposures; (3) engineering and administrative control of noise exposures; (4) audiometric evaluation and monitoring of hearing; (5) appropriate use of personal hearing protection devices; (6) education and motivation; (7) record keeping; and (8) program evaluation for effectiveness.

While Standards for Hearing Loss Prevention Program may already established  and is part of the medical surveillance of establishments, the Department welcomes the development of this National Program as this assures us of access to services and pool of experts that will help prevent and mitigate hearing loss of the country’s most important assets—our workers.