RISA HONTIVEROS, PhilHealth Director and Women’s Rights Activist
Ana Theresia Hontiveros-Baraquel more commonly known as Risa Hontiveros is running for a senate seat for the third time. Hontiveros is running under the Koalisyon ng Daang Matuwid of the administration. She is a known activist, journalist and public servant. She represented Akbayan Citizen’s Action Party in the House of Representatives from 2004 to 2010. She is also the current Director of PhilHealth where she vowed to pursue healthcare reforms such as increased public spending on health.
Hontiveros was educated at the Ateneo de Manila University and graduated cum laude with a degree on AB Social Sciences. She has remained consistent with her two pronged advocacy: health and women. In her bid for a senate seat in the last 2013 midterm elections and prior to that, she co-authored and advocated the passage and the full implementation of the then Reproductive Health Bill. She advocated that the issue of reproductive health is a matter of women’s rights to make choices with regard to their reproductive health. She promoted the RH bill as giving the women their reproductive rights. In her experience in the House of Representatives, Risa Hontiveros was successful in pushing for the passage of the Cheaper Medicines Law and the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER) Law.
Hontiveros’ platform centers on providing universal healthcare especially targeting the poorest of the poor. In her bid for a seat in the senate, the PhilHealth Director cited three reasons why a third try is worth taking.
- The Senate is not exclusively for traditional politicians bearing popular names. There must be place for common people with extraordinary dreams for the Filipino people.
- A place in the Senate is a way to fight for universal healthcare. She believes that all Filipinos in all corners of the country deserve to receive proper medical services at any given time. No one should die because of the inability to receive medical attention.
- Combating corruption needs to continually be pursued. To hold the guilty accountable especially those in the senate is vital.
Risa Hontiveros’ third try in the senate is for her “breaking the glass ceiling.” In her words, “The challenge is daunting but we will never stop pounding at the glass ceiling. With patience and determined struggle, we will accomplish what is difficult.”
JERICHO PETILLA, jericHOPEtilla’s Liwanag at Pag-asa
Jericho Petilla is running for the senate under the Liberal Party. He was part of the cabinet of the incumbent administration as the former secretary of the Department of Energy of the Philippines. Petilla also served as the governor of the province of Leyte from 2004 to 2012.
Petilla graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with a degree on Management Engineering. After graduation, he briefly taught courses on of Information Technology and Computer Programming at the Ateneo. He was also a consultant and programmer in various multinational IT companies. Petilla co-founded a 25-year old private corporation with over 4,000 employees, Direct Data Capture, which is primarily involved in business process outsourcing and knowledge process outsourcing that spans from the Philippines, the United States of America, Canada and some parts of Europe. He was involved in such prior to his stint in public service.
His advocacy focuses on three important issues – energy, health and education, all of which he accomplished in his term as the governor of Leyte and as the secretary of the Department of Energy. The former secretary launched programs on energy efficiency as possible solution to the shortage of electricity. His programs focus on raising awareness on efficient energy consumption at home and in work places. In his past programs on education he focused on honing information communications technology among the youth through various skills training that make the students more employable in the future. Lastly, he launched a health program in Leyte focusing on expanding the PhilHealth benefits of birthing mothers but at the same time not compromising the revenue of birthing clinics through a public private partnership between the provincial government of Leyte and private clinics.
Jericho “Icot” Petilla’s platform is summed up as I.C.O.T., which stands for:
- I – ndustry reforms in the energy sector
- C – ompetent public health system
- O – pen and free education
- T – transparency in governance.
In Petilla’s campaign, he also emphasized the word HOPE in his name. He intends to bring hope on issues of energy, health and education through a seat in the senate.
SHERWIN GATCHALIAN, WINTAYO sa Edukasyon
Sherwin Gatchalian is currently a representative in Congress for the first district of Valenzuela City. He was also the mayor of the said city from 2004 to 2013. He is a member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition and is running under the Partido Galing at Puso, the senatorial slate of presidential candidate Grace Poe and vice presidential candidate Chiz Escudero.
Win Gatchalian was educated in Boston College and graduated with a degree on Business Administration in 1995. He was also a member of the International Red Cross while based in Massachusetts where he was trained for basic life support. He completed higher studies on corporate finance in Euromoney Institute of Finance in New York in 1997.
In his time as a representative of his district, Congressman Win championed programs on education, poverty alleviation, generating more jobs and instilling good governance. In his time as the mayor of Valenzuela City, he stood by his belief that “Good Education is Good Governance.” This was realized when the city was first in the ranking in the National Achievement Test (NAT) for elementary schools in NCR for 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. Valenzuela City remains high in their ranks among the divisions in schools in the region.
Gatchalian’s education platform contains the following points:
- Upgrade the education infrastructure system by expanding the reach of the feeding program, having effective classroom sizes and having more libraries, computer and science laboratories.
- Intensify the value of research and development and prioritizing of Mathematics and the Sciences in the topics of research.
- Creation of performance-based incentives for public school teachers.
- Expansion of access to quality tertiary education.
- Ensuring that schools are equipped with special education capabilities.
- Harmonize labor market supply with labor market demand.
He sees education as an effective tool to fight poverty. His notion that good education is good governance is what Gatchalian intends to carry to Congress, among his other advocacies, when elected.
To be continued in Part 2.