Press Release | 9 March 2024

The Department of Health (DOH) is one with the nation in celebrating Women’s Month. We recognize the pivotal role women have, not just in healthcare, but in all nation-building initiatives. As we help President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos, Jr. pursue Universal Health Care for all Filipinos, we must provide essential services that improve the overall health and well-being of women.

Breast and cervical cancers are at the top of health issues that Filipino women face today. Data gathered by the Philippine Cancer Society shows that breast cancer ranks as the top cancer site for both sexes, with 65% of cases being diagnosed at an advanced stage. Cervical cancer ranks second in cancers among women in the Philippines. The early detection of women’s cancers through sound screening programs and management at primary level is an inspiration for the Bagong Urban Care and Ambulatory Service (BUCAS) centers that Secretary Teodoro Herbosa and partners has started to build nationwide, aiming for 28 such BUCAS centers to serve the 28 million poorest Filipinos by the year 2028. BUCAS centers will soon have mammograms, HIV screening, and family planning services, among others.

Another health issue that the DOH actively looks into is the increasing prevalence of tobacco, electronic cigarettes, and vape use among women. According to data from the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) done in 2019 and 2021, an increase from 4.2% to 6.9% was seen in current tobacco users among girls aged 13-15 years old. While these issues affect everyone, the increase in use, especially among girls, despite consistent efforts by the government shows us that more work has to be done and current policies may need to be aligned with our commitments to stop the tobacco and vape epidemic.

As part of women’s month celebrations, DOH, through the TARA! KonsulTayo National Health Fair, will be providing free HIV screening, testing, and counseling, family planning, and reproductive healthcare, health promotion and counseling, and cervical cancer screening this March 9 & 10 at the Liwasan Aurora in Quezon City Memorial Circle. We invite everyone to take this opportunity to celebrate a healthy Women’s Month with DOH, dahil sa Bagong Pilipinas, Bawat Buhay Mahalaga!