CHAIRPERSON of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, who received recognition as a cancer warrior, expressed his support and gratitude for the launch of the Cancer Warrior PH Campaign. This nationwide initiative aims to raise awareness and promote early cancer detection, especially amid the recent commemoration of World Cancer Day on February 4.
In a video message aired during the formal launching of the campaign at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City on Tuesday, February 6, Go said that he was honored to be part of the event and that he shared the campaign’s vision of improving the quality of life of every Filipino.
“Hindi maikakaila na ang kanser ay isang salot sa ating lipunan na nagdudulot ng matinding pasakit hindi lamang sa mga pasyente kundi pati na rin sa kanilang mga pamilya at mahal sa buhay,” said Go.
“Sa ating pagtitipon ngayon, pinagtitibay natin ang ating paninindigan na hindi tayo basta-basta magpapatalo sa kanser. Ang Cancer Warrior PH Campaign ay simbolo ng ating pagkakaisa at determinasyong magbigay ng mas mataas na kalidad ng buhay sa bawat Pilipino,” he added.
The campaign, spearheaded by GeneLab PH and supported by various sectors of society, focuses on expanding cancer education and enhancing disease screening methods.
“Kasama ang GeneLab PH at ang suporta ng iba’t-ibang sektor ng lipunan, inilulunsad natin ang isang kampanyang nakatuon sa mas malawakang edukasyon tungkol sa kanser at sa mas epektibong pag-screen ng sakit na ito,” said Go.
Go also commended the Department of Health, local governments and hospitals nationwide that expressed their support and readiness to pursue the campaign.
“Nakakagalak na maraming lokal na pamahalaan at ospital sa buong bansa ang nagpahayag ng kanilang suporta at kahandaang makiisa sa kampanyang ito,” remarked the senator.
“Ito ay patunay na kapag nagkakaisa, walang imposible. Salamat sa lahat ng naging bahagi ng pagpapalaganap ng kaalaman at pagkalinga, lalo na sa mga healthcare providers na walang sawang naglilingkod para sa ating mga kababayan,” he added.
Meanwhile, Go also expressed his appreciation for his recognition as a cancer warrior. He said that such recognition strengthened his resolve and highlighted the importance of these collective efforts.
“Nais ko ring magpasalamat sa pagkilalang iginawad ninyo sa akin ngayong araw bilang isang cancer warrior. Ang mga pagkilalang ganito ay nagpapalakas ng aking loob at nagbibigay-diin sa kahalagahan ng ating mga pagsisikap,” mentioned Go.
“Ang parangal na ito ay hindi lamang para sa akin, kundi para sa bawat isa sa atin na patuloy na lumalaban at nagsusumikap para sa mas mabuting kalusugan ng bawat Pilipino,” he added.
Go concluded his message by thanking everyone for their support and dedication, inspiring him to work harder to serve the people. He urged everyone to cooperate, unite, and face the challenge of cancer together.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, cancer was the second leading cause of death among Filipinos in 2023. The World Health Organization estimates that about 141,000 new cancer cases and 86,000 cancer deaths occur in the Philippines every year.
Go’s commitment to improving healthcare in the Philippines, particularly in specialized healthcare, is further evidenced by the enactment of Republic Act 11959, also known as the Regional Specialty Centers Act, where he was the principal sponsor and one of the authors in the Senate.
This legislation mandates the creation of Regional Specialty Centers within the existing framework of Department of Health (DOH) regional hospitals.
Go also emphasized allocating sufficient funds for specific healthcare programs, especially for cancer. He has consistently pushed for additional budget for the National Integrated Cancer Control Program, particularly for procuring additional cancer drugs and expanding the cancer medicines access program.