ORANI, Bataan – President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Valentine’s Day (February 14, 2019) signed Republic Act 11215 (National Integrated Cancer Control Act) that created the National Integrated Cancer Control Program that will serve as the framework for cancer-related activities of the Philippine government.
The House of Representatives’ version was principally authored by Bataan 1st District Representative Geraldine B. Roman, a consolidation of 21 House Bills, one resolution and one privilege speech.
H.B. No. 8636 was premised on the policy of the State recognizing cancer as one of the leading causes of death in the country.
One of the principal authors and sponsors at the Philippine Senate of this new law was Senator JV Ejercito, who said during his recent interview with the Bataan press, that cancer is the 4th leading cause of child mortality and the 3rd leading cause of adult death in the Philippines.
According to the Department of Health’s Philippine Cancer Facts and Estimates, 8 deaths per day for childhood cancer and 7 deaths every hour for adult cancer are being recorded each day.
Congresswoman Roman reiterated, during her news briefing with the local press during the KABAKA’s 22nd Anniversary, the objectives of the National Integrated Cancer Control Program such as :
1) decrease the overall mortality and impact of all adult and childhood cancer;
2) lessen the incidence of preventable cancer in adults and children;
3) prevent cancer recurrence and secondary cancer among cancer survivors and patients;
4) provide timely access to optimal cancer treatment and care for all cancer patients;
5) make cancer treatment and care more affordable and accessible; and
6) support the recovery and reintegration to society of cancer survivors; and improve the experience of cancer treatment and care of patients and families.
The bill also provides for the creation of the National Integrated Cancer Advisory Council which shall provide technical guidance and support, and oversee the implementation of the Act.
The Council shall be composed of the following: Secretary of Health or a designated representative, not lower than Assistant Secretary, as chairperson in an ex office capacity; vice chairperson to be elected by non-ex officio members; ex-officio members of the Board, namely 1) the director-general of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or a designated representative, 2) president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) or a designated representative 3) Secretaries of the Departments of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Labor and Employment (DOLE), Science and Technology (DOST), Interior and Local Government (DILG) and chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), or their designated representatives.
Other members of the Council shall be three distinguished medical doctors, nurses or researchers who must be citizens and residents of the Philippines and two representatives from cancer-focused patient support organizations and advocacy networks.