Women working in Muntinlupa City Hall were given free breast cancer screening and lectures at the launch of ICanServe Foundation’s flagship project, Ating Dibdibin, at the 2nd floor lobby of the Muntinlupa City Hall on October 13.

Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime R. Fresnedi signed a Memorandum of Agreement with ICANSERVE represented by chairman Libet Virata and president Tang Singson to pave the way for the following:

1. Conduct of community assemblies for breast screening, breast cancer lectures, showing of breast cancer self exam tutorial videos. Barangay health workers shall also receive breast cancer screening;

2. Training of doctors, nurses, midwives and barangay health workers of Muntinlupa City on early breast cancer detection techniques;

3. Initiation of a “Breast Cancer Trust Fund” for the residents of Muntinlupa City who will need subsidy or full support for diagnostics and treatments related to breast cancer by way of an ordinance and entered agreements with hospitals in the City;

4. Officially link and coordinate with private and government hospitals or clinics, government offices, funding agencies, non-governmental organizations that can help provide subsidy or free services and cancer treatments to those who are diagnosed with breast cancer;

5. Providing of free or subsidized mammography and ultrasound to the residents of Muntinlupa City diagnosed with breast cancer or with suspicious lumps.

In his keynote speech, Mayor Fresnedi encouraged both the men and women of Muntinlupa to avail of the free breast screening.

Trina Reyes Biazon, chairperson and program director of Muntinlupa’s Gender and Development Office (MGDO), spearheaded the endeavor and formally opened the “Ating Dibdibin” launch. She announced that continuous training of Muntinlupa’s barangay health workers will be done to attend to the breast screening of more women of Muntinlupa.

Virata and ICanServe volunteer Veck Arjona, in their messages of hope, assured Muntinlupa residents that early detection can save lives.

Representing his father, Congressman Rodolfo Biazon, former Muntinlupa Congressman Ruffy Biazon said institutionalizing the “Ating Dibdibin” program aims to provide basic health services to all the barangays of Muntinlupa through its breast cancer community assemblies and screening and assured support and assistance to those who will be diagnosed.

After the formal signing of the Memorandum of Agreement, officials and guests were treated to an anti-cancer Laughter Yoga session with Paolo Trinidad.

Dra. Cecille Montales, ICanServe volunteer and a seven year breast cancer survivor, lectured about self breast examination and breast cancer myths. This was followed by a clinical breast examination of all the women who queued and registered for screening at the municipal hall. Doctors from V Luna Hospital and Marikina barangay health workers helped conduct the clinical examinations.

On October 1 to 3, the MGDO led by Trina Reyes Biazon, through the Ating Dibdibin partnership with ICanServe, trained hundreds of Muntinlupa’s barangay health workers at the Putatan Health Center to be at the forefront of clinical breast examinations in their respective barangays. They also received free breast screening.

On October 8, the MGDO held “Go Pink” at Filinvest Mall in Alabang, a prelude to the Ating Dibdibin launch. The program promoted early breast cancer detection. Breast screening was conducted for those who registered for it at the “Go Pink” event.

In the coming weeks, Ating Dibdibin will roll out in all the nine barangays of Muntinlupa through lectures and clinical examinations.

(Text and photos by Pamsy Tioseco)

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