Press Release
October 20, 2006

To beat the threat of breast cancer...

Filed Senate Bill 613 to grant free medical and
hospitalization benefits to indigent Filipino women

Senate President Manny Villar expresses alarm that breast cancer continues to be the number one killer disease among women in the Philippines. According to him since early detection or diagnosis is a big factor in beating breast cancer, there should be a more comprehensive medical and health benefits for women especially those afflicted with diseases such as breast cancer.

Experts themselves say that there is a 95% survival rate if breast cancer is diagnosed in its earliest stage. Despite the intensive information drive or campaigns of concerned individuals and organizations, if women had no access to proper healthcare, these would not be as effective, says Villar, President of Nacionalista Party.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness and various seminars and activities have been lined up for the whole month to inform women about the latest on breast cancer and strategies for early detection and even survival. Cancer survivors and families of cancer-afflicted women are participants in these activities to give their inspirational testimonies.

Instilling awareness about breast cancer especially to young Filipino women is well and good, but this should be complemented by an accessible and efficient healthcare program, especially for indigent Filipinas. These two should go hand in hand in order to effectively fight breast cancer but all other womens diseases, adds Villar.

Villar filed Senate Bill 613 or Womens Medical and Hospitalization Benefits Act that seeks to grant free medical and hospitalization benefits to indigent Filipino women suffering from womens diseases, illnesses and injuries due to violence inflicted on women and for other purposes.

Womens health and welfare is of paramount importance considering that women constitute half of our countrys population and womens health and well-being affects that of the next generation. A look at womens health situation in the areas of nutrition, maternal, childbearing, reproductive and other health concerns indicate that much remains to be done, cites Villar on his bill. This year marks 22nd year that National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is being observed in the country to educate women about breast cancer detection, diagnosis and treatment.

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