The city of Muntinlupa is facing head-on the scourge of Filipina women that is breast cancer, by providing free access to early detection tests.
The City Government entered today, May 22, into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Medical Center Muntinlupa (MCM), Inc., to provide free breast ultrasound as well as mammography tests to aid the early detection of breast cancer among Muntinlupeños.
“We definitely welcome this development as this enables the City Government to address the problem of breast cancer head-on,” Mayor Ruffy Biazon said. “By early detection, we hope to save many families from the heartbreak of losing mothers and women family members to an otherwise preventable disease,” he added.
Under the MOA, the City Government will shoulder the cost of the tests of patients and target beneficiaries identified by the Kalingang Munti Action Center (KMAC) and verified by the Gender and Development (GAD) Office through their respective processes.
The city’s Sangguniang Panlungsod provided the legal basis for the MOA, recently approving Resolution 2023-238 allowing Biazon to represent the City Government for the signed agreement. MCM was represented by Chairman of the Board Ning I. Singh MD, and management consultant Uriel S. Halum MD.
According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), as much as 1 out of 13 Filipina women are more likely to develop breast cancer in their lifetime, making them significantly under high risk. Similarly, the Global Cancer Report, which surveyed 15 Asian countries, showed that the Philippines has the highest breast cancer mortality rate among its counterparts.
Countless studies and expert recommendations have shown that higher survival rates are possible through early detection tests such as breast ultrasound and mammography. However, these procedures are prohibitively expensive for low-income countries, making access to these tests highly critical to any strategy aiming to tackle the problem of breast cancer. “We believe (by making these tests more accessible) we can change that,” Biazon said.