Senate OKs bill seeking to institutionalize nat’l integrated cancer control program

Published November 13, 2018, 1:20 PM

by Francine Ciasico

​By Vanne Elaine Terrazola

More Filipinos suffering from cancer are expected to get help should proposed National Integrated Cancer Control Act be signed into law, Sen. Joel Villanueva said Tuesday.

Sen. Joel Villanueva (Senate of the Philippines Facebook page / MANILA BULLETIN)
Sen. Joel Villanueva
(Senate of the Philippines Facebook page / MANILA BULLETIN)

The Upper Chamber unanimously approved on third and final reading Monday Senate Bill 1850, which seeks to institutionalize a national integrated cancer control program.

“Kung mayroon pong komprehensibong plano at sapat na pondo laban sa cancer, mas matututukan po ang problema at matutulungan din natin ang ating mga manggagawang dumaranas ng sakit na ito (If there is a comprehensive plan and adequate fund to fight cancer, the problem will be addressed and we will also be able to help our workers who suffer from this illness),” Villanueva, co-author of law, said in a statement.

Villanueva said it is just timely that the Senate passed the bill as he noted the rising number of cancer-stricken Filipinos.

He also cited recent studies finding that seven out of every 10 cancer patients do not continue their treatment due to lack of finance.

Villanueva hopes that the immediate passage of the “important” measure will pave way for “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.”

A counterpart measure has yet to be passed in the House of Representatives.

The proposed national integrated cancer control program mandates the strengthening of patient and family-centered cancer control programs, the increase in public funding for the prevention of cancer, better screening and making cancer treatment and care affordable.