Press Release
August 26, 2023

Bong Go continues push for increased Cancer Assistance Fund

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go expressed his support for the Cancer Assistance Fund (CAF) and stressed the importance of continuously increasing its allocation especially for the 2024 General Appropriations Act (GAA).

The senator's pledge comes after a successful push to increase the CAF in the 2023 GAA. The proposed budget for 2023 under that year's National Expenditure Program had initially no allocation for the fund but the House of Representatives and the Senate managed to allocate P500 million for it.

"I am always one with you in the fight against this disease. In fact, during the budget deliberations last year, I pushed for an additional budget for the cancer assistance fund to subsidize the cost of cancer treatment, including the needed diagnostics and laboratory tests," Go said.

For 2024, Go hopes to double the amount allocated this year to strengthen the fund and help more cancer patients.

The National Integrated Cancer Control Act (NICCA), under Republic Act No. 11215, includes CAF as an essential component, offering complimentary financial support to cancer patients in the country.

Section 20 of NICCA ensures that cancer patients have access to free financial assistance for various needs, including screening tests, specialized treatments, diagnosis, palliative care, and medications.

In addition to the CAF, Malasakit Centers also provide financial aid to Filipinos. Malasakit Centers bring together representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

These one-stop shops aim to support impoverished patients in reducing their hospital costs to the least possible amount. Go is the principal author and sponsor of RA 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, which institutionalized the Malasakit Centers program.

To date, 158 operational centers have helped more than seven million Filipinos nationwide, according to DOH.

Go has been working tirelessly to provide access to affordable and quality healthcare for all Filipinos, including those battling cancer. His efforts have been recognized by several organizations, including the Philippine Cancer Society and the Philippine Society of Oncology.

"Ang laban kontra sa kanser ay laban nating lahat. Patuloy tayong magkakaisa upang maabot ang ating pangarap na maging cancer-free ang ating bansa," said Go.

"With every fund, service, and support we provide, we take a step closer to better and just health for everyone," he concluded.

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