Lung Center owns up to DAP-funded stem cell research

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Friday, July 18, 2014

THE Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP) admitted on Friday to getting funding from the controversial Disbursement Accelerated Program (DAP) amounting to P105 million, part of which was used for stem cell research.

In a statement, LCP executive director Dr. Jose Luis Danguilan said the P70 million of the amount allocated by the Department of Health (DOH) in 2012 was allotted to the Bioregenerative Program of the hospital.

"The money spent for the LCP Molecular Diagnostics and Cellular Therapeutics Laboratory was used to purchase equipment and supplies for research mainly on dendritic cell vaccine for use in cancer treatment, specifically lung cancer," said Danguilan.


He said it is only righteous for the LCP to "take the lead" in finding advance treatment being the only tertiary pulmonary specialty hospital in the Philippines.

"As such, it should take the lead, not only in cutting edge treatment but also in advocacies," he said.

Danguilan explained that it is no different from the LCP having an active Smoking Cessation Program, an Anti-Air Pollution Program, and is in the process of revitalizing its long dormant Early Detection of Lung Cancer Program, the Comprehensive Asthma Center, and the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Program, among others.

"The LCP has also taken the lead in minimally invasive surgery of the chest and as far as I know, has the largest number of minimally invasive procedures done in the Philippines," claimed the LCP official.

Danguilan also related that a center for Critical Airway Management is soon to be established, as well as an Esophagus and Swallowing Center and a Hospice and Palliative Care Unit, which are all part of the LCP’s bid to provide Filipinos the needed "cutting edge treatment” for pulmonary and other chest diseases.

Meanwhile, Danguilan said the remaining P35 million from DAP was spent for the Pediatric Unit of the LCP.

Earlier, the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) questioned the allocation of DAP funds to finance stem cell research instead of the government opting to use the amount to provide assistance through scientifically proven treatment to the public.

This was after the DOH said that they have been allocated a total of P3.392 billion from the DAP, with P105 million provided for the LCP's Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) requirements.

It can be recalled that DAP was recently ruled as being unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. (HDT/Sunnex)

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