Press Release
October 13, 2020

With still no funds for cancer care
Sen Nancy urges DOH to tap funds for 'Cancer Assistance' program
...asks health dept to fast track Cancer Act implementation

Senator Nancy Binay urged the Department of Health (DOH) to fast track the full implementation of the National Integrated Cancer Control Act (NICCA).

"More than a year has passed since napirmahan yung Implementing Rules and Regulations ng NICCA pero hanggang ngayon parang hindi pa rin ramdam ng mga cancer patients ang tulong na ipinangako ng batas," Binay said.

Binay, who is one of the authors of the law, also expressed her disappointment at the agency after the senate hearing on the proposed 2021 budget of DOH revealed that there is no specific item in their budget for the Cancer Assistance Fund.

"Bakit po walang item for Cancer Assistance Fund which is part of the law?" Binay asked.

"Baka we can put a small amount para naman hindi maging zero yung cancer assistance fund?" she added.

According to DOH, they already proposed a P535 million budget for the Cancer Assistance Fund but it is yet to be approved by the Department of Budget and Management.

Secretary Francisco Duque for his part said that the health department will look at how it can carve on its medical assistance fund to help cancer patients.

Senator Binay agreed with his suggestion but advised the health department to first draft clear guidelines on how indigent cancer patients can avail of the aid so that the DOH would have no problems in implementation.

NICCA, as complemented by the Universal Health Care (UHC) legislation, is intended to help cancer patient access much-needed health services to cushion financial impact on the patient and the family.

Under the NICCA, there should be a Cancer Assistance Fund under the Department of Health to provide financial assistance to patients in need.

A Philippine Cancer Center would also be established in the National Capital Region with comprehensive cancer care centers and treatment units also to be put up in various regions.

Further, the Philhealth benefit package would also be expanded to include more types of cancers.

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