Cancer Stakeholders’ Meeting Tackles Private-Public Partnership

Thursday, June 07, 2012 Stef dela Cruz 0 Comments

The Cancer Stakeholders’ Consultative Meeting highlighted the Philippines’ first effort to unify both public and private sectors for the sake of setting aside differences and pooling resources together. The conference aimed for a more unified approach to cancer care and control. It took place last May, 25, 2012, at Diamond Hotel, Manila.

Presently, the country has many organizations, government and privately-owned, that invest in promoting cancer awareness or prevention. However, because of the lack of coordination among these groups, an unnecessary repetition of efforts occurs – and this results in wasted resources.

Commissioner Rozzano Ruffy BiazonCommissioner Rozzano Ruffy Biazon of the Bureau of Customs was one of the chairs
of the Cancer Stakeholders’ Meeting.

To help the country come up with a unified approach, Moving As One conducted the Cancer Stakeholders’ Meeting, where heads and executives from both local departments and private companies gathered together. In the meeting, the elements of cancer care and control are discussed, including related issues.

Cancer Stakeholders’ Meeting: Topics Discussed

In the Cancer Stakeholders’ Meeting, the audience was encouraged to ask questions to help assuage qualms and clarify issues related to the potential partnership between private and public sectors. Keynote speakers were invited to share information on the following topics:

  • The passing of the so-called “Sin” Tax Bill. This bill aims to restructure the excise tax on alcohol and tobacco products. With this bill, the tax imposed on all tobacco products will be increased by up to 76 percent and will result in more or less similar prices. Smokers tend to downshift to cheaper cigarettes when they can’t afford their usual brand after the imposition of the excise taxes. This phenomenon will then be prevented if the Sin Tax Bill is passed. In other countries, sin taxes were proven to lower tobacco consumption and actual deaths due to lung cancer.

    In addition, the country is now looking into a partnership between private and public sectors. Does this mean there will be widespread privatization? Read on for more answers, plus the rest of the topics highlighted in this milestone conference.
  • The implications of smoking and alcohol drinking in the Philippines. The economic burden and the contribution of smoking and alcohol consumption towards cancer-related deaths was highlighted. Because smoking is one of the most common independent factors for increased cancer incidence, efforts are being taken to help lower cigarette consumption in the country.
  • Cancer epidemiology and statistics. Cancer is now the third leading cause of death in the Philippines, next to heart and other vascular diseases. This means that aside from stroke, heart disease, or hypertension, cancer is the next medical condition that causes death. Cancer treatment and prevention should then be prioritized over other health programs.
  • Laws and bills related to cancer treatment. For instance, the National Cancer Institute Act of 2011 was explained. The roles of the Department of Health, National Cancer Institute, and the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development were also enumerated.
  • The efforts taken by the different medical societies and hospital groups in terms of helping people diagnosed with cancer. The Philippine Society of Medical Oncology, Philippine Society of Pediatric Oncology, UP-PGH, and UST Hospital Benavides Cancer Institute, among others, shared what their roles are in cancer control.
  • The meaning of public-private partnership. Privatization is frowned upon and very much undesired. But a partnership between public and private sectors may prove to be beneficial – and the reasons behind this are explained, together with the difference between privatization and partnership.

In my next update, I shall share the different opinions of speakers in the conference, including surprising findings related to cancer control. (For instance, did you know that health education played almost no role in decreasing the incidence of disease?)

Cancer Stakeholders Meeting

More details in the next update on the Cancer Stakeholders’ Meeting. Find me on Twitter or my Facebook page. And if you want to know what role I played in this meeting, find out on the first update published here. Questions? Feel free to leave a comment.

Stef dela CruzAbout the blogger
Stef dela Cruz is a vegan doctor and writer. She received the 2013 Award for Health Media from the Department of Health. She is the editor of The Manila Bulletin's Animal Scene Magazine. Get in touch if you want to invite her as a speaker!