Department of Budget and Management Sec. Amenah F. Pangandaman underlined the prevention, treatment, and control of non-communicable diseases, such as cancer, as one of the key priorities of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., as evidenced by the allocation of P2 billion in the proposed 2024 National Expenditure Program.
Pangandaman stated that 18,695 cancer patients will benefit from P1.024 billion in funds under the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, which will cover the procurement of 61 different cancer commodities such as Trastuzumab 600 mg/5mL, Docetaxel 40 mg/mL, and Paclitaxel 6 mg/mL.
In addition to the cancer control program, P1B will be appropriated to the Cancer Assistance Fund (CAF) to subsidize the continuous medical aid for 6,666 cancer patients registered across 31 cancer access sites nationwide.
The CAF will partially finance outpatient and inpatient cancer control services. This includes, but is not limited to, therapeutic procedures and other cancer medicines needed for the treatment and management of cancer and its care-related components.
The CAF aims to fill the financial gap in cancer diagnostics and laboratories, which PhilHealth does not cover. On average, Filipino families spend approximately P150,000 per patient for these treatments.
Meanwhile, the remaining P682.709 million of the P1.7B allocated under the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases initiative will cater to mental health patients numbering 124,246.
The amount will fund mental health medications including Sodium Valproate 250 mg, Paliperidone Palmitate 100 mg, and Haloperidol 5 mg/mL for patients on 362 mental health access sites nationwide. – Press release