Senator Joel Villanueva on Thursday hailed the ratification of the bicameral conference committee report on the National Integrated Cancer Control Act which institutionalizes a national integrated cancer control program by integrating cancer consciousness into schools’ curriculum, strengthening patient and family-centered cancer control programs, increasing public funding for robust prevention of cancer, better screening, and making cancer treatment and care affordable for all, especially to poor cancer patients.
“Pirma na lamang po ng Pangulo at maisasabatas na natin ang ating panukala na magbibigay ng sapat na pondo at kalidad na pagpapagamot para sa ating mga kababayan na dumaranas ng cancer,” Villanueva, one of the authors of the measure, said.
“Malaking pasasalamat din kay Sen. JV Ejercito na principal author at sponsor ng panukalang ito, gayundin sa mga kapwa nating mambabatas na sumuporta sa pagsulong ng ating panukalang batas.”
The senator further noted that seven out of 10 Filipino cancer patients cease their medical treatment due to financial problems and high cost of cancer treatment.
“Sa tindi po ng problema ng ating mga kababayan dahil sa sakit na cancer at sa taas po ng bilang ng mga cancer-stricken Pinoy, napapanahon po ang pagpasa ng batas na ito upang magkaroon ng abot-kayang pagpapagamot lalo na sa ating mga mahihirap na kababayan na hindi kayang pasanin ang malaking gastos sa cancer treatment,” the senator added.
The Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society found out that the Philippines has the highest prevalence of breast cancer among 197 countries. In 2012, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (lARC) revealed that there were 269 new adult cancer cases in the Philippines every day.
Furthermore, the Cancer Coalition of the Philippines said that around 3,900 children are diagnosed with cancer yearly and that the average survival rate of children diagnosed with cancer is only at 30 percent.
The Philippines observes the National Cancer Consciousness Week – an initiative that stresses the synchronization of efforts by both public and private organizations towards the prevention and control of cancer.
“We hope that the immediate passage into law of this important measure will ensure quality health care for all Filipino children and adults with cancer by increasing investments for the prevention, early and accurate detection, and optimal treatment for all forms of cancer,” Villanueva said.