Hontiveros tops 2nd Rappler Senatorial Debate, pushes for mental healthcare

MANILA, Philippines - "Compassionate, competent, compelling" - this was just some of the descriptions used by netizens to describe senatorial aspirant Risa Hontiveros during the second senatorial debate hosted by Rappler Friday afternoon, April 15 at the University of the Philippines Diliman School of Economics Auditorium.

Hontiveros tops 2nd Rappler Senatorial Debate
"Sadyang may mga laban na hindi sinusukuan” - Hontiveros. Photo Screengrab from Youtube
Adjudged best debater in all three rounds of the debate, Hontiveros was hailed as the over-all winner by netizens who watched the event through Rappler live stream and PTV 4.

Hontiveros spoke on issues ranging from the Catholic Church's position on reproductive health to benefits for barangay health workers to traffic and tax reform.

She spoke most passionately though about her advocacy for universal health.

"Seven out of ten Filipinos die without seeing a doctor. This is why I work. This is why we should work together”, she said.

Hontiveros also pushed for mental health care package for Filipinos.

“If I get to work in the Senate, simula na ako doon sa mga nasimulan na, so susuportahan ko 'yung pagdevelop ng PhilHealth ng benefit packages para sa mental health, both post-trauma o kaya yung addressing depression”, she urged.

Hontiveros also spoke candidly about her first two failed attempts to run and why she decided to run again.

"Tinatanong ng mga classmates ng anak ko, bakit ba ako takbo ng takbo".

She said that universal health is a goal that can be achieved through vision and hard work. “Healthy Pinoy, Healthy ‘Pinas is not just a pipe dream. Universal healthcare can be achieved in our lifetime”, she said, referring to her campaign slogan.

“Sadyang may mga bagay na hindi dapat bitawan”, she concluded.

Aside from Hontiveros, other senatorial candidates present during the debate were Sherwin Gatchalian, Dionisio Santiago, Richard Gordon, Walden Bello, and Leila de Lima.

WATCH: #TheLeaderIWant Senatorial Debate at the UP Diliman (video courtesy of Rappler)

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