Lung Center defends DAP-funded stem cell program

PCP: Stem cell therapy untested, expensive, and experimental

MANILA - The Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP) defended the P70 million it received as funding from the Disbursement Acceleration Program for a stem cell research project.

LCP Executive Director Jose Luis J. Danguilan admitted receiving P105 million in total allocations from the DAP, which he said was spent wisely. He said P35 million was spent for the LCP's pediatric unit while the rest went to stem cell research.

The stem cell research program was listed as the 15th item in the Department of Budget and Management list. It was named as the LCPs Bio-Regenerative Technology Program.

The project intends to "fund the Bio-Regenerative Program aimed at harnessing stem cell research and technology to reconstruct new healthy cells, replacing cancer or dead cells."

Danguilan said the equipment bought for both the stem cell and pediatric unit programs have other uses.

"To spend the money wisely, it was decided that pieces of equipment needed for the Bioregenerative Program and the Pediatric Unit could also be used by the Department of Pathology and Laboratory, the Department of Thoracic Surgery and Surgery, the Department of Pulmonary Medicine and the Department of Radiology," he said.

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

"To place things in perspective, the LCP is a tertiary hospital for pulmonary and other chest diseases, and as far as I know, it is 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 added.

On Tuesday, members of the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) said the priorities of the government when it comes to funding projects under the DAP seem to be misplaced.

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Lung Center defends DAP-funded stem cell program

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