Rep. Paul Daza (File photo)

MANILA – Northern Samar First District Representative Paul Daza on Wednesday commended the Department of Budget Management (DBM) and Department of Health (DOH) for approving the release of the PHP529.2-million cancer assistance fund (CAF).

“Free cancer and healthcare treatments in the Philippines have become a closer possibility,” said Daza, senior deputy minority leader of the House of Representatives.

The DBM and the DOH earlier released a joint memorandum circular (JMC) prescribing the implementing guidelines for the use of CAF.

During previous House deliberations on the DOH budget, Daza urged the immediate release and utilization of the CAF in the 2022 national budget.

DOH officer-in-charge Rosario Vergiere assured Daza and his colleagues that the CAF will immediately be used to help needy cancer patients.

The return of the CAF, Daza said, “is good momentum for the development of more policies that can widen the scope of the Cancer Control Act and our Universal Healthcare Act.”

“I hope this spirit of cooperation continues and we keep the ball rolling towards affordable and even free treatment of this disease and others,” Daza added. “We must never let our fellow Filipinos feel alone in the fight against cancer.”

Before the DBM-DOH joint memorandum, budget earmarks for CAF were missing from the 2023 National Expenditure Program (NEP). (PNA)