Veteran Actor Johnny Delgado passed away on November 19 at the age of 61. Former President Cory Aquino died on August 1 at the age of 76. Master rapper and TV host Francis Magalona died on March 6 at age 44. Delgado had lymphoma or cancer of the immune system; Aquino had colon cancer and Magalona had leukemia or cancer of the blood. Cancer is the thirs leading cause of illness and death in the Philippines, and in 2009, well-known personalities succumbed to the disease.

This year, the DOH started providing free opioid analgesics for indigent patients suffering from severe pain due to cancer, HIV/AIDS and other chronic disease. They can avail of these drugs fro DOH hospitals and participating hospices nationwide. Moreover, the DOH has boosted its “HL (healthy Lifestyle) to the Max” advocacy to prevent and control the four major chronic diseases – cancer, cardiovascular diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and diabetes.