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IRR for Cancer Act may soon be out

The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the law that aims to alleviate the financial burden of cancer patients and their loved ones may be out soon, an official said.

Dr. Abdullah Dumama, Jr., assistant health secretary, said the IRR for Republic Act 11215 or the National Integrated Cancer Control Act will be out by the end of July or on the first week of August.

On Thursday, the technical working group for the crafting of the IRR conducted its Mindanao leg of the public consultation at the Royal Mandaya Hotel. It was the third stop after the Luzon and Visayas forums.

“The public consultation involved multi-disciplinary sectors, including the health, education, academe, and skills,” Dumama said.

RA 11215, signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte last Feb. 14, aims to prevent cancer cases and improve cancer survivorship among Filipinos through scaling up essential programs and increasing investments that battle cancer.

“Our academe will be tasked on the information dissemination. They will cover many things and our schools must be provided enough information on cancer prevention, control, and management,” Dumama said.

According to Dumama, the role of the information sector is very critical especially on cancer awareness that is eyed to lower the morbidity rate caused by cancer.

“We really want to cover from the basic to tertiary education because childhood and adult cancer is very prevalent. So, if possible, as early as elementary level, students will know that there is an act that has been provided and enacted by the government that will help our cancer patients,” he said.

Other than pushing for prevention and cure, Dumama said the law will also cover bringing the cancer survivors back to the community as productive citizens.

“A cancer treatment is very costly so the patients will really drain their financial resources. In one of the discussions earlier, an OFW who was diagnosed with cancer lost his 10-year savings in his cancer treatment,” he said. “We are with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in the implementation of the act especially in integrating back our cancer survivors in the community.”

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