Press Release
September 29, 2013


Senator Grace Poe has proposed the creation of a Cancer Assistance Fund aimed at providing medicine and treatment assistance to poor cancer patients nationwide.

Poe said the high cost of cancer cure has made it difficult for poor people afflicted with the disease to avail of treatments, which has led to a growing number of fatalities.

Under Senate Bill 1283, or "An Act to Assist Indigent Cancer Patients and their Families," an annual appropriation of P1 billion is recommended as seed fund for the government's medicine and treatment assistance program to cancer victims.

A study conducted by the University of the Philippines' Institute of Human Genetics, National Institute of Health showed that 189 per 100,000 Filipinos are afflicted with cancer, killing four Filipinos every hour or 103 cancer patients every day. "We want to ensure organized and sustained specialized care and preventive measures against cancer which has afflicted thousands of poor Filipinos," Poe said.

She noted the expensive costs of radiation treatment or the conduct of a Memory Resonance Imaging and chemotherapy.

The PhilHealth will administer the cancer assistance fund, assisted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), in consultation with the private sector.

Poe proposed the measure following a report that cancer is the third leading cause of death in the Philippines, next to communicable and cardiovascular diseases.

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