BCDA: Keeping Abreast in October

Posted : November 3, 2012

Breast cancer has overtaken lung cancer as the most prevalent form of cancer in the country.

In a report published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Philippine Society of Medical Oncology (PSMO) warned the nation that the Philippines has the lowest survival among people with breast cancer among 15 Asian countries.

PSMO President Felycette Lapus reveals: “…we are number one for breast cancer in Asia. Three out of 100 (Filipino) women will get breast cancer before age 75 and one out of 100 will die before reaching 75.”

Such report is very timely as the whole world celebrates National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

In a show of solidarity with women all over the world, especially those who are battling breast cancer, the BCDA Gender and Development (GAD) Committee, with the assistance of the Organization Development and Management Department (ODMD), facilitated the participation of 112 employees in a fun run event called “The Pink Run: D’Feeting Breast Cancer.” The event was held last October 21, 2012 at the Venice Piazza, McKinley Hill in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. A project of the Philippine Society of General Surgeons, it intends to raise funds for the treatment of indigent patients suffering from breast cancer and to intensify awareness on breast health care. BCDA’s participation in the event resulted to a donation amounting to P60,000.

Also in October, the ODMD, GAD and Wacoal Philippines distributed “Pink Ribbons of Empowerment” among women employees to signify BCDA’s unwavering support for the breast cancer awareness cause among Filipinos. Health kits distributed with the ribbons noted that with heightened “awareness and empowerment, breast cancer becomes a disease that is preventable, life-changing, often for the better, curable at its early stage, and, treatable and beatable in its invasive stages.” The Pink Ribbon is recognized as a symbol of support for breast cancer issues, treatment and especially finding a cure. The key motivational spirit behind the movement is to make every woman and adolescent girl aware of breast health and screening (e.g. mammogram or breast self-exam).

The move resulted to a donation amounting to almost P10,000 to Gif2Life Inc., a community- and web-based, nonprofit, non-stock, volunteer- and team-based, health care catalytic innovator which aims to offer social entrepreneurial value-delivery strategies and solutions to improve the chances for survival and quality of lives of patients in the Philippines.

The GAD activities for October culminated in the very first Breast Cancer Awareness Seminar, held on October 29, 2012 at the BCDA Corporate Office. About 30 employees attended the event, which was conducted by the Philippine Cancer Society (PCS), a private, non-stock, non-profit corporation which aims to advance knowledge about cancer, combat the spread of the disease, and bring relief to those afflicted with cancer. The resource speaker was Dr. Milabelle T. Estabillo, a Medical Specialist of Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital and a Volunteer Doctor of the PCS Speakers Bureau.

Before the year ends, the 2012 GAD Committee intends to conduct the following activities as part of BCDA’s Reproductive Health Program: Training on Gender Sensitivity and the Magna Carta for Women, the creation of a sex-aggregated database of BCDA’s stakeholder communities in Lupang Katuparan, conduct of a review for gender-related policies, the creation of a GAD Corner in the BCDA Library, the inclusion of a Lactation Station in the BCDA Clinic, the GAD Summit (GAD Summit was held last August 22-23, 2012 in Clark) and the conduct of a series of financial literacy and entrepreneurship workshops. One of these workshops, “Financial Wellness in the Workplace Seminar,” a seminar in coordination with AXA Philippines, is scheduled on November 29, 2012 at BCDA Conference Rooms A & B.

The GAD Committee is chaired by Vice President for Corporate Services Eleanor Atienza. Other members of the committee are Randolph Austria, Merle Dino, Patrick Francisco, Mau Ignacio, Joyce Lacbawan, Jon Policarpio, Atty. Bert Oyzon, John Mark Rigos, Atty. Sheryl Supapo-Sandigan, Maricar Savella-Villamil, Mike Vivas, and Arleen Zabat.