By Azer Parrocha
MANILA – Senator Risa Hontiveros on Friday reiterated her call for a better budget for cancer medicines and treatment.
Hontiveros made the call during a community outreach program that featured free breast and cervical cancer screenings for the women residents of the BASECO evacuation center in Tondo, Manila.
In her speech, Hontiveros noted that an earlier version of the 2018 budget for the Department of Health (DOH) did not have an item for cancer medication.
However, the proposed budget for cancer medication and treatment for 2018 now stands at PHP50 million.
She emphasized that state support for cancer treatment is vital for better overall public health.
“Universal health care is the duty of a responsible government. And to be able to perform this duty, the government should allot enough funds for these types of programs,” Hontiveros said.
The event was done in coordination with the Manila City Health Department and featured speakers from the Philippine Cancer Society, the Institute for Politics and Governance, and the city health department.
A short health forum and a film viewing to raise awareness on the merits of early cancer detection were also conducted.
Hontiveros is the vice chair of the Senate Committee on Health and chair of the Committee on Women, Family Relations and Gender Equality. (PNA)