Bicam anticancer bill on home run
Persons and families who know what it is like to walk through a health crisis called cancer have reason to rejoice and be hopeful. Future generations of Filipinos, too, would have much to be grateful for.
Last Monday, the House of Representatives approved on third reading House Bill No. 8636, or the National Integrated Cancer Control Act. Representatives Helen Tan, Alfred Vargas, Chiqui Roa-Puno, Karlo Nograles, Jericho Nograles, Bernadette Dy and Geraldine Roman were some of almost 200 coauthors who midwifed the bill.
And on Nov. 12, the Senate approved unanimously (18-0) Senate Bill No. 1850, which aims to institutionalize a national integrated cancer control program in the Philippines. Principal authors were Senators JV Ejercito, Sonny Angara, Nancy Binay and Loren Legarda.
Cancer Coalition Philippines, with ICanServe Foundation among the active pushers of the bill, credits the legislators for valuing persons with cancer of any stage, age, gender and income bracket. The coalition looks forward to the bicameral committee’s reconciled version of the bill, and its subsequent approval by the President. Soon.
Said the coalition: “With cancer as the No. 2 cause of death for adults and children and with projections pointing to an 80-percent increase of cancer incidence in 12 years, it is with utmost importance that this law be passed without delay to ensure that a national and integrated approach to cancer control gets underway.”
Cancer Coalition gives 10 reasons why collective action against cancer is urgent.
Cancer is now the No. 2 cause of death for adults and children in the Philippines.
Cancer is curable if diagnosed early and treated appropriately.
The catastrophic cost of cancer treatment pushes Filipino families into financial crisis and deeper into poverty.
The financial burden of cancer treatment is the main reason patients with cancer discontinue or do not complete treatment. Precious lives are lost due to the financial burden of treatment.
The survival rate for all cancers in the Philippines is low compared to neighboring countries.
Strengthening health system capacities and giving financial support for cancer patients will increase survivorship.
Children who survive cancer have 71 productive years of life to contribute to the country’s growth and development.
Cancer threatens the future and security of families. It robs the country of vital human resources and assets for sustainable development.
Cancer is considered a serious threat, putting at risk national and global economic stability. Fighting and controlling cancer is an investment for a secure and bright future for Filipino families and the nation.
By 2030, cancer incidence in the Philippines is projected to increase by as much as 80 percent. This will pose a tremendous stress to the health system and the country’s resources.
And why will the passage of the National Integrated Cancer Control bill be of benefit to Filipinos? It will:
Provide the governance mechanism and technical support needed to accelerate program implementation
Ensure that health facilities and the overall health system are ready to provide timely, quality and safe cancer care and treatment at every stage of the cancer journey
Promote common standards of care for key cancers and facilitate better health outcomes
Sustain and ensure integrated support for the whole government, saving more lives
Protect people living with cancer from stigma and discrimination and enable them to live meaningful and productive lives
Ensure that no one with cancer is left behind regardless of where they live and where they get the care, treatment and support they require
Capture the real picture and actual burden of cancer across geographic areas and age groups
Catalyze action from schools, private companies and local government units in supporting and protecting people with cancer and their families.
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At the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 8, is the awaited AHRT! (Artists for Human Rights) event. Artists will present the “Memory Project: The 13 Artists in Time of Repression” at the CCP gallery and hold “Rampa: Red Carpet Walk,” plus a signing of a manifesto for human rights at the CCP parking lot. These will be capped by performances and a solidarity night. Attire: freedom of expression.
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