News Release

President Duterte inaugurates Mindanao’s most modern cancer diagnostic, treatment facilities

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte unveils the marker as he leads the inauguration of the newly constructed Cancer Diagnostic Institute Building and Cancer Treatment Facility Building of the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao City on March 25, 2022. Joining the President are Senator Christopher Lawrence Go, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, SPMC Medical Center Chief II Dr. Ricardo B. Audan, and Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega. ROEMARI LIMOSNERO/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

DAVAO CITY—President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Friday, March 25 graced the inauguration of the Cancer Diagnostic Institute Building and Cancer Treatment Facility Building of the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), which will serve cancer patients not only in Davao City but also its nearby provinces.

Putting up Mindanao’s first modern cancer facilities is a “huge leap” the country has taken to address the health needs of Filipinos particularly the indigents and marginalized, President Duterte said in his speech at SPMC during the inauguration rites.

“No longer will our cancer patients need to travel far just to receive the necessary treatments and care. This accessibility to modern healthcare facilities, particularly those that cater to cancer patients, will surely help ease the burden carried by patients and their families,” he noted.

The P528-million Cancer Diagnostic Institute Building and the P365-million Cancer Treatment Facility Building feature top-of-the-line diagnostic and therapeutic equipment that will assist doctors for the early detection of cancer and reduce treatment side effects.

The diagnostic center’s modern equipment include, among others, the P78-million Single Photo Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) Nuclear Imaging Facility, P120-million Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan, and the P230-million 24 Mega-electron volt (MeV) Medical Cyclotron Facility.

The PET Scan is the first in Mindanao, while the MeV Medical Cyclotron Facility is the first such facility in a government hospital in the country.

The construction and installation of equipment were funded by the Office of the President, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) and the Department of Health (DOH) under its Health Facility Enhancement Program.

According to the President, improving the city’s cancer diagnostic and treatment facilities has been the his vocation since he was Davao City mayor, noting visiting young cancer patients is his annual Christmas tradition.

At the same time, President Duterte lauded the SPMC, DOH, and private partners for “investing in the improvement of healthcare services” in Davao region.

Likewise, Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega, who was also present during the event expressed his gratitude to President Duterte for supporting the construction and improvement of cancer treatment facilities in Davao City and for making them a priority project.

“This project was realized through your intercession. From the bottom of our hearts, we offer our gratitude, and we are extremely grateful for all of your support and patience and for giving us the opportunity to serve more of our fellowmen,” he said.

The Southern Philippines Medical Center is the largest hospital in the Philippines with at least 1,500 medical beds and more than 15 clinical departments, serving the residents of Davao City and its neighboring areas.

It is also Mindanao’s major medical facility handling coronavirus cases. PND