Speaker's office partners with DoH, DSWD to aid indigent cancer victims | Inquirer News

Speaker’s office partners with DoH, DSWD to aid indigent cancer victims

08:04 PM July 17, 2023

Speaker's office partners with DoH, DSWD to give guarantee letters, cash aid to indigent cancer victims

FILE PHOTO: Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez.

MANILA — In line with President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s program to provide better health services to Filipinos, the office of Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez facilitated on Monday the release of P6.78 million worth of medical assistance via guarantee letters at Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) in Quezon City.

This, as Speaker Romualdez attended Monday his first town hall meeting during which he spoke on issues related to treatment, care and other problems confronting pediatric and adult cancer patients, their parents and health practitioners.


“To the care and medication of a cancer patient is among the most financially taxing things that a family can experience. It is even more difficult if children are involved. Through this medical assistance, we hope to somehow ease the burden on these families and give them hope,” Speaker Romualdez said.


All 30 cancer patients-slash-participants of the town hall meeting were given Medical Assistance for Indigent Patients (MAIP) of the Department of Health (DOH), or the guarantee letter, amounting to P50,000 (total: P1.5M).

MAIP guarantee letters, this time worth P30,000, were also distributed to 176 admitted patients of PCMC (total: P5,280,000).

In all, the guarantee letters distributed Monday amounted to P6,780,000.

Meanwhile, the town hall meeting 30 participants also took home P10,000 each in cash aid via the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Assistance to individuals in crisis situations (AICS) program or a total of P300,000.

“I sincerely thank President Marcos, DoH Secretary Dr. Ted Herbosa, and DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian for their kind-hearted intervention. Their assistance will literally end up saving lives,” said Romualdez, who represents the 1st District of Leyte.

“This event is the start of a series of townhall meetings we will be attending to hear the voices of our people. We thank PCMC and PCC for this initiative and for paving way to bring us closer to our people. Through this, we will validate concerns, reach the grassroots, hear out your needs and challenges. We would also like to hear proposed solutions that Congress can address,” Speaker Romualdez said.


He noted that thousands of Filipinos die each year due to cancer, which has become one of the leading causes of death in the country.

The House leader’s participation in the town hall meeting is also expected to place the lower chamber in a better position to respond to cancer treatment- and care-related issues in terms of legislation moving forward.

“Sa pamamagitan nito, nalalaman natin ang kanilang mga pangangailangan, mga suliranin, at mga hamon sa buhay. Gusto nating maging bahagi ang town hall meeting na ito para imulat ang kamalayan ng mga Pilipino sa ating lipunan lalo na sa mga using pangkalusugan at kung paano natin ito dapat tugunan,” Speaker Romualdez told the town hall meeting.

As a leader of Congress, he said he has the duty to see to it that appropriate government support is received by cancer patients and their families.

“Magagawa natin ito sa pamamagitan ng pagpapatupad ng mga batas at programa na magpapabuti sa kanilang kalagayan. Kabilang dito ang access sa abot-kayang gamot at mga serbisyo sa pangangalaga ng kalusugan. Kasama rin dito ang pagpapalakas ng mga psychosocial services at pagbibigay ng impormasyon at edukasyon tungkol sa kanser,” he said.

Ako Bicol Party-list Rep. Zaldy Co, chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, was represented by former Health Usec. Roger Tong-an.

It is the Co panel that scrutinizes the proposed national budget.

Joining Speaker Romualdez were Representatives Franz Pumaren of Quezon City, Janette Garin of Iloilo, Jude Acidre of Tingog Party-list, Bong Teves of TGP Party-list, and Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte.

“Today, you opened our eyes to many challenges besetting our patients affected with cancer. What complicates things is the added impact on their families and our society.  Aggravated by the fact that the cost of treatment and care is too heavy for our patients,” he said

“While many doctors and health workers are willing to serve our country and our patients, the need for health facilities, government subsidy for cancer care expenses, temporary shelter for patients and healthcare workers and even the long neglected parking spaces that is a major obstacle to service delivery has been confirmed,” Romualdez said.

The House leader vowed to address all of these, especially with budget season in the House of Representatives just around the corner.

“We will make sure, together with the Committee on Appropriations and the whole Congress, that public funds will go to where it is truly needed. We commit to make sure that the voices of all stakeholders are considered. Foremost among our priorities is to let the people feel that our government is a shoulder to rely on. Ang gobyerno ang inyong ‘Kuya’ sa panahon ng pangangailangan,” he stressed.

The Speaker also gave a token of appreciation to the PCMC workers to recognize their efforts in organizing the very productive town hall meeting.

“Sa ating PCMC stafff who went out of their way to organize this event, Maraming salamat po. Alam namin ang hirap nyo lalo na nung pandemya,” Speaker Romualdez said.


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Romualdez assures cancer patients: Congress to address cash aid, distance woes


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