THE HOUSE of Representatives will push adequate funding for Republic Act 11215 or the National Integrated Cancer Control Act of 2019 during the bicameral conference on the proposed national budget for next year, its Speaker said on Wednesday.
“The importance of this law and its full implementation cannot be overstated,” Speaker Lord Allan Q. Velasco said in a statement.
“We have to make sure that it is sufficiently funded so it could effectively serve its purpose of strengthening government efforts to combat cancer and increasing the fighting chance of patients to overcome the disease,” he added.
The measure, which President Rodrigo R. Duterte enacted last year, sets up a National Integrated Cancer Control Program, which serves as the framework for all cancer-related activities of the government.
The program will provide timely access to optimal cancer treatment and care for all cancer patients, make treatment and care more affordable and accessible and support the recovery and reintegration to society of cancer survivors.
Mr. Velasco, citing a study by the University of the Philippines Institute of Human Genetics, said 189 of 100,000 Filipinos are afflicted with cancer, while 96 cancer patients die daily.
“The economic burden of cancer care and treatment is overwhelming and it has the potential to drive Filipino families deeper into poverty,” the Speaker said, citing a report by Cancer Coalition Philippines.
A breast ultrasound costs as much as P3,000, while a colonoscopy costs as much as P14,000, he added.
The House version of the budget bill has been sent to the Senate . — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza