Philippine Digestive Health Week: Empowering Filipinos through health literacy


Quezon City, 7 March 2022 – The celebration of Philippine Digestive Health Week (PDHW) from March 7-13, 2022 was launched by partner stakeholders led by the Department of Health (DOH) and the Philippine Society of Gastroenterology (PSG). With the theme, “Empowering Filipinos to Care for their Digestive Health”, this year’s PDHW celebration aims to promote health literacy among Filipinos.

“On behalf of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, I would like to give thanks to all our medical frontliners for providing optimum patient care and mobilizing efforts to mainstream health policies and programs. Addressing public health remains imperative, especially during a health crisis. The Presidential Communications Operations Office [PCOO] along with the DOH and the Duterte administration are one with the Philippine Society of Gastroenterology in strengthening the information drive on digestive health and promoting health literacy among Filipinos,” said PCOO Head, Secretary Martin Andanar.

“I thank the PSG and DOH for providing ethical and quality management of digestive diseases. I hope that the annual PDHW celebration will result in enhanced interventions that will benefit all Filipinos. Let us all continue our dedicated service and genuine concern as we strive to form a stronger and healthier society despite the COVID-19 pandemic. You have my wholehearted support and I hope that this weeklong celebration inspires you to continue your mission of caring for the health and the future of every Filipino,” said Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” T. Go, Chair, Senate Committee on Health and Demography.

“Today we pay homage to the great accomplishments of the Philippine Society of Gastroenterology as the country celebrates this year’s Philippine Digestive Health Week. With the expert guidance of the Society, we are able to respond to the specific gastroenterological and other medical needs of Filipinos all over the country. As the country realizes Universal Health Care, the Philippine Society of Gastroenterology has long been a partner of the national government in formulating and implementing digestive health policies and programs, which are vital in providing a people-centric health system. Always know that the DOH is one with the Philippine Society of Gastroenterology today and for the years to come,” said Secretary of Health Francisco T. Duque III.

“It is important to emphasize promoting awareness on cancer and other diseases in achieving health for all. It is in this premise that we laud all of your efforts in promoting campaigns and advocacies in the promotion of holistic health. Rest assured that the DOH is one with you in this vast endeavor as we work together to achieve the unified visions of Formula 1 plus for health and Universal Health Care for Filipinos being among the healthiest in Southeast Asia by 2022 and in Asia by 2040,” said DOH Undersecretary Dr. Maria Rosario S. Vergeire.

“The celebration of Philippine Digestive Health Week in the time of the pandemic is an opportunity to heighten the information drive on digestive health and foster the spirit of bayanihan or balikatan in preventing digestive diseases. Rest assured that the Committee on Health is one with you in advocating for meaningful and responsive legislation that will provide equitable access to health services and ensure health literacy among Filipinos,” said Representative Angelina D.L. Tan, Chairperson, Committee on Health, House of Representatives.

“On behalf of the PSG, I thank the DOH and all our partner stakeholders for supporting the annual PDHW celebration. Let us continue working together in promoting awareness on digestive health,” said PSG President Dr. Ira I. Yu.

“The WHO lauds the Philippine Government for its political commitment to cancer prevention and control as demonstrated by the enactment and implementation of the landmark National Integrated Cancer Control Act or NICCA. We support DOH in implementing cancer screening programs such as colorectal cancer screening, which aims to reduce illness and death due to colorectal cancer. The WHO together with the DOH and Philippine Society of Gastroenterology and other cancer control stakeholders remain committed to upholding our longstanding collaboration to achieve common goals, including closing cancer care equity gaps,” said Ms. Ma. Stella Osorio, Technical Coordinator on Cancer Control of the World Health Organization Representative Office in the Philippines.

“This year’s PDHW theme, ‘Malusog na Tiyan, Masiglang Katawan’ is very timely as we adapt to the new normal. We salute the PSG officers and members for bravely facing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and continuing to provide community programs despite pandemic restrictions. We hope that the knowledge gained by Filipinos during PDHW will help them in their daily life,” said Dr. Benito Atienza, President, Philippine Medical Association (PMA).

“We thank all our partner stakeholders for their continued support for the celebration of Philippine Digestive Health Week and National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month every month of March. Please support the implementation of the DOH National Colorectal Cancer Screening Program as well. Together, let us strive to provide quality digestive health care to all Filipinos,” said Dr. Clarito U. Cairo, Jr., Program Manager of the National Integrated Cancer Control Program, DOH Disease Prevention and Control Bureau.

From March 7-9,2021, a series of webinar discussions for children and adults every 3:00 pm and “Tummy Talks” show episodes every 6:00 p.m. will be conducted during the weeklong celebration. A colorectal cancer screening webinar for lay people will be held on March 7, 2022 at 12:00 noon, and for primary care physicians at 4:00pm.