Para umabot ng SONA! Sotto, Hontiveros urge Duterte to sign mental health bill
by Xave Gregorio
Senate President Tito Sotto and Senator Risa Hontiveros are urging President Rodrigo Duterte to sign the mental health bill for it to be finally enacted into law.
“Dapat mapirmahan na agad ng Presidente. I’m sure he will be able to sign it and that would be announced during the [State of the Nation Address,]” Sotto said Wednesday (June 13) in an interview with Senate reporters.
For her part, Hontiveros said, “Nanawagan po talaga ako sa President dahil ‘yung mental health bill ay ratified na ng parehong kapulungan mula pa noong Mayo.”
The Senate passed the bill on final reading in May 2017, while the House passed its version last November 2017.
However, Duterte has not yet signed the measure, which would provide medical assistance to those with mental health issues.
But the Constitution states that laws not signed by the President in 30 days after its submission to the Malacañang would lapse into law.
This means the mental health bill would be enacted into law on June 20 if it remains unsigned by Duterte or if he does not veto it and sends it back to Congress to be reconsidered.
“Ang ating Department of Health, nagbibigay tayo ng gamot para sa mga respiratory ailments, diba, mga iba’t-ibang klaseng ailments na karaniwang nagiging problema ng mga kababayan natin at mayroon itong gamot sa mga health centers,” said Sotto, the principal author of the measure in the Senate.
“Pero ‘yung mental health na wala tayong naibibigay na gamot dati ay maintenance na ‘yan. Maaring throughout the life of the person. Kaya hindi makaya ng mga kababayan natin ‘yan at the barangay level, kaya napakahalaga na itong batas na ito ay ma-execute na at ‘yung funding ay makumpleto doon sa Department of Health,” he stressed.
The two senators made the statements in the heels of the deaths of fashion designer Kate Spade and chef Anthony Bourdain, who both died by suicide.
“Nakakalungkot itong kina Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain sa US, pero tuluy-tuloy din dito sa Pilipinas,” Hontiveros said.
“Kaya’t hindi po nawawala ng urgency na maisabatas na ang mental health bill,” she said.