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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau



06 October 2022 04:20:03 PM

The House of Representatives Association of Women Legislators Foundation, Inc. (AWLFI) led by its President and Bulacan Rep. Linabelle Ruth Villarica, the Soroptimist International of Ortigas and Environs, and the Philippine Cancer Society, Inc. (PCS) celebrated on Thursday Pink October Breast Cancer Awareness Month at the House of Representatives, which coincided with the HREP Month. The celebration featured an “Awareness Talk on Breast and Cervix Health, as well as a Demo on Breast Self-Examination.” The event culminated with a free breast and cervical screening that was done in a mobile clinic. In her opening remarks, Villarica lauded her fellow Soroptimists for giving free services to indigent women in various communities for 20 years now. She said the Soroptimists now have the expertise of its partner organization, the PCS, in the person of PCS Program Director Dr. Romeo Marcaida. Villarica said the Soroptomist International of Ortigas and Environs with its Charter President Baby Doble raise funds for cancer awareness and prevention through their flagship “Fun Run” Program. She said the group provides free breast and cervical screening plus a follow up ultrasound and cryotherapy treatment for those whose results indicate some findings, she said. Villarica also thanked the House Committee on Women and Gender Equality, GAD Focal Point, Medical and Dental Services, as well as the AWLI led by its President Tingog Party-list Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez for supporting the Breast Cancer Awareness Program. She also thanked Pampanga Reps. Anna York Bondoc, M.D., Nueva Ecija Rep. Rosanna “Ria” Vergara, and Bulacan Rep. Lorna Silverio for gracing the event. “Your presence indicates that our women in Congress are making good health choices,” she said. Last Sept. 19, 2022, Villarica said that she delivered a privilege speech about the value of celebrating Pink October. She said Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, in his manifestation, revealed that the House Committee on Appropriations disapproved the request of the DOH for additional funding for cancer prevention and treatment. Hence, during the plenary budget deliberations, Villarica said she filed a request to Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and the Committee on Appropriations for additional funding by endorsing the DOH’s appeal for the inclusion of P500 million, specifically for the DOH Cancer Assistance Fund. “In behalf of the AWLFI, I am pleased to report that to date, this matter is now under consideration as one of the proposed amendments by the Committee on Appropriations for the DOH (budget). Together, let us see this through. The lives of more than 27,000 Filipinas with breast cancer may depend on it,” she said. Meanwhile, beauty queens Reina Hispanoamericana Filipinas 2022 Ingrid Santa Maria and Miss World Philippines Tourism 2022 Justine Felizarta expressed gratitude for being part of the medical mission to promote breast cancer awareness and prevention. For his part, Marcaida stressed that early detection is the key to raise survival and cure rate. “Sixty four percent survive in the Philippines, that’s about six out of 10 diagnosed. Malungkot yan di ba. But in our program, early detection at yung may gamot sa government, ung access program, we are able to up it to 90 percent through early detection at may gamot,” Marcaida said. Lastly, Bondoc discussed the importance of breast and cervical screening.