Mayor Romualdez gives his support to the program

FIGHT AGAINST CANCER. Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez signed the document formalizing the agreement between the city government and Roche (Philippines) Inc. for the promotion of women’s healthcare which will primarily focus on breast and cervical cancer prevention and care. (TCIO)

TACLOBAN CITY– The city government here and Roche (Philippines) Inc. formalized their commitment to advancing healthcare outcomes through the signing ceremony on February 8 of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the 2030 Mission Leapfrog Project (MLP).

This vital initiative with a focus on breast and cervical cancer prevention and care, which was piloted in the city in the same month last year, has already benefitted around 2,000 female personnel from the Department of Education Tacloban City Division.

The signing ceremony included Mayor Alfred Romualdez, acting City Health Officer Dr. Danilo Ecarma, General Manager of Roche Dr. Diana Edralin, Assistant Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Henrietta Managbanag, and other stakeholders.

Dr. Edralin emphasized the key role of educators in shaping the future which is why DepEd teachers were the initial target for the said program, highlighting its goal to prioritize health education and support for women in the teaching sector in underserved communities.

As cited in the content published by Mission Leapfrog, “with breast cancer ranking first and cervical cancer sixth in prevalence in the Philippines, the 2030 (MLP) aims to establish a fully-financed referral system for diagnosis, and treatment, focusing initially on these two prevalent factors.”

This project incorporates four components which include mobilization and education through DepEd to address the fear of cancer; screening, diagnosis, and treatment courtesy of local government health clinic to the tertiary referral hospital to deal with medical needs; funding with the help of local groups/ organizations such as Tingog party-list in Tacloban to ease the financial burden of cancer patients and their families; and institutionalization.
Aside from MLP being one of the accomplishments of Roche in 2023, the Universal Health Care and National Integrated Cancer Control Act Law Integration (U.N.L.I) Cancer Scorecard likewise demonstrated success in measuring, tracking, and enhancing the cancer and control program’s implementation.

Looking ahead, the 2030 MLP targets to cover 1,700 female DepEd teaching and non-teaching personnel and roughly 29,000 high-risk women of Tacloban City by the year-end, with plans to scale up to cities in the National Capital Region.

“This signifies our commitment to provide accessible cancer care for Tacloban City,” said Dr. Ecarma noting that the city needs this kind of project to bring hope and support to cancer-affected patients and their families.