DOH Signs IRR for National Integrated Cancer Control Law
The Department of Health has formally signed the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for Republic Act 11215, otherwise known as the “National Integrated Cancer Control Act” (NICCA), a law that grants access to quality and affordable care for Filipino cancer patients and survivors.
The law, enacted in February 14, aims to provide quality cancer health services and financial risk protection to alleviate the financial burden of diagnosed Filipinos or their loved ones affected by cancer.
According to The Global Data on Cancer 2018 report, in the Philippines, there are over 140,000 total recorded new cases of cancer diagnosis annually, and this figure includes the more than 4,000 cases of pediatric cancer reported in children. Of the total number of cases recorded, there is said to be over 80,000 deaths yearly in the Philippines, and the top causes are lung, liver, colon, and breast cancers. According to the same study, the most commonly fatal form of the disease is breast cancer.
On a statement made during a news briefing on Friday, August 9, DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III shared the news about the IRR’s signing and what it means for cancer patients in the Philippines.
“The NICCA emphasizes cancer prevention and improvement of cancer survivorship by strengthening essential programs and increasing investments for the entire cancer care continuum. It aims to make cancer services and care more accessible to Filipinos,” said Secretary Duque III.
In fulfillment of this purpose, the Cancer Control Law mandates the establishment of the Philippine Cancer Center, an institution designed to provide interdisciplinary care that is an equity-based and life-course approach access to care services and medicines from preventive, curative to healing at an affordable cost. In addition, the legislation requires for the creation of a Cancer Control Fund and the development of relevant PhilHealth packages for patients diagnosed with cancer.
“Moreover, the NICCA will contribute to the attainment of United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (No. 3.4), which is to reduce premature mortality from non-communicable diseases by 30% by 2030. With this act we will be closer to the realization of our country’s vision embodied in AmBisyon Natin — Filipinos living long, healthy, and productive lives by 2040.” DOH said.
“Ultimately, the Filipinos will be among the healthiest people in Southeast Asia by 2022 and in Asia by 2040,” Secretary Duque III concluded.