Most Cancer Friendly City in Philippines is Cebu City

Cebu City is the most 'Cancer Friendly' City in the Philippines with the passage of an ordinance creating the first-ever Cancer Welfare Task Force.

Breast cancer survivor Me Anne Alcordo Solomon said the ordinance passed last year stipulates the creation of the task force to plan programs that benefit people with cancer.

Solomon said that although the task force composed of representatives of the different concerned sectors from both private and government still has to convene to map out various programs for cancer victims, it has already called on people suffering from different kinds of cancer to register in the city to be given a cancer identification card.

The ID card will be used like the senior citizens card where discounts or privileges might be offered after the task force will convene to put in place the programs promoting the welfare of people with cancer, this is said.

Solomon was one of the main panelists that discussed breast cancer, the top killer cancer disease among Filipino women, in observance of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The Cancer ID can also be used for the express lanes for the senior citizens such as hospital and supermarket lanes, Solomon said.

"They can show their ID as to why they need to use the express lane, as people with cancer are immunosuppressed which makes us vulnerable to infections. And if there is a crowd, then the risk of infection is high, that is why we need to use the express lane," Solomon declared.

Solomon said SM City has signified its support to the 'Most Cancer Friendly City' and on October 16, launched its plan to include individuals with cancer to use its express lane intended for senior citizens in their grocery section.

"We hope other malls will follow suit as big hospitals are already implementing this," according to Solomon.

For those interested to apply for the cancer ID card, requirements needed are the medical abstract and the residence certificate.

The breast cancer survivor said she has used the card when she renewed her driver's license and the Land Transportation Office (LTO-7) expedited the processing knowing that immunosuppressed people are prone to infections.

Solomon however, said that even those outside Cebu City can avail of the ID card but in case there are certain programs that benefit those with cancer such as discounts on medicines will only be applicable to Cebu City since only the latter has the ordinance.

In observance of the Pink October, Solomon bared the big hospitals in Cebu City like Cebu Doctors Hospital, Chong Hua Hospital and Perpetual Succour Hospital as well as other diagnostic centers are offering big discounts on the prices of their mammograms.

Cancer groups and other stakeholders are also coming up with fund-raising activities for the month where the money will be used to give out free diagnostic tests to breast cancer individuals or those at high risk. in further support of the 'Most Cancer Friendly City.' (PIA-Cebu/FCR)

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