The Senate Committee on Health and Demography and the Senate Committee on Finance on March 12 held joint public hearings on the proposed National Integrated Cancer Control Act.

Members of Cancer Coalition of the Philippines (CC PH) were complete and served as resource persons: Paul Perez of Project: Brave Kids; Oliver Calasanz of Carewell Community Foundation; Dr. Ramon Severino of Philippine Society of Oncologists; Rachel Rosario and Romy Marcaido of Philippine Cancer Society; Carmen Auste of Cancer Warriors Foundation; Daisy Cembrano of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines; and Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala of I CAN SERVE Foundation.

In attendance were Senator JV Ejercito, Chair of the Committee on Health and Vice Chair of the Committee on Finance; Senator Risa Hontiveros, Vice Chair of the Committee on Health and member of the Committee on Finance; and Senator Nancy Binay, member of both committees.

Providing the senators with the patient perspective were Seve Perez, leukemia survivor from Project: Brave Kids and Lea Ramos, Stage 4 breast cancer survivor from I CAN SERVE and Carewell.

Lending support to the proposal were former Health Secretary Carmencita Reodica; Dr. Claire Soliman of the Philippine Society of Medical Oncology; and Dr. Clar Cairo of the Department of Health. Also represented were the Department of Labor and Employment, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth).

Local government units with Ating Dibdibin programs came in full force with the attendance of patient navigators, barangay health workers, doctors and patient support groups, in particular from Marikina and Taguig City, whose City Health officials were also present. Also present were patients from Child Haus, Philippine Children’s Medical Center, Carewell, and the cancer support group of Philippine General Hospital.

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