Coalition seeks freedom for millions of Filipinos with cancer

This is a press release from Cancer Coalition PhilippinesMANILA, Philippines – On the occasion of the country’s 119th Independence Day, Cancer Coalition Philippines, a broad national coalition of cancer patient support organizations, health care providers, cancer advocates, and champions is seeking freedom from the sickness that is faced by millions of Filipinos: cancer.

Dubbed “Kalayaan mula sa Kanser (Freedom from Cancer),” it aims to bring to national attention the issues related to cancer, as it is now the second leading cause of death, following cardiovascular disease.

Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala, coalition co-chair shared that “a comprehensive national cancer plan is long overdue. And to us, it should cover the entire cancer spectrum of prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment, survivorship and palliative care.”

“We all know the burden that cancer places on patients, their loved ones, even on their employers and society as a whole, as such, it’s about time everyone comes together to put in place something solid,” added Dr Rachel Rosario of the Philippine Cancer Society, a coalition member.

In the latest World Health Assembly held in Geneva, Switzerland, in May, member countries were encouraged to put into action national programs for prevention and control.

“As the Philippines is a signatory, the coalition hopes that the new cancer resolution becomes the springboard for an integrated program for our country,” added coalition member Menchie Auste, president of Childhood Cancer International who was present at the assembly.

The campaign aims to secure enough signatories to push Congress to pass a law on an integrated national cancer control and prevention program. There have been numerous Department of Health administrative orders on cancer, but there has never been an integrated bill passed on cancer.

As part of its plan, the coalition will also engage and work with government, policy makers, the private sector, civil society, and international development partners. It aims to be the driving force in inspiring breakthroughs,

catalyzing adoption of innovations and good practice models for safe, quality, accessible, affordable cancer care, better health outcomes, and a better future for cancer patients, the survivors, and their families.The coalition is composed of the Philippine Cancer Society, Philippine Society of Oncologists, I Can Serve Foundation, Cancer Warriors Foundation, Carewell Community Foundation, Project: Brave Kids, and the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines. The coalition hopes to expand its members among like-minded individuals and organizations. –

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