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MANILA, Philippines – From zero in the 2023 national budget, government funds for cancer have been restored to a total of P1.56 billion.
House Deputy Speaker Ralph Recto said in a statement on Sunday, February 5, that the move is “the result of a multipartisan, bicameral push.”
Of the P1.56 billion, Congress allocated P1.054 billion for cancer prevention, detection, treatment, and care, as laid out in Republic Act No. 11215 or the National Integrated Cancer Control Act.
Recto said the fund will specifically be for the “procurement and delivery of cancer, supportive care, and palliative care medicines covering the eight treatable cancer types.”
The remaining P500 million is under the Cancer Assistance Fund, which will be used for “cancer prevention, detection, treatment, diagnostics, and care for eight priority cancer types.”
During the budget deliberations in 2022, Health Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire had asked Congress to restore the funds for cancer.
“The cancer fund is not a tumor that must be excised from the budget. It is a treatment tool which, on the contrary, must be boosted,” Recto said.
In the Philippines, 189 of every 100,000 people are affected by cancer, with four Filipinos dying of the disease every hour. This is according to a study done by the University of the Philippines’ Institute of Human Genetics, National Institutes of Health. – Rappler.com