Senator Risa Hontiveros is determined to prove once again that nothing is impossible when one is fighting for good causes, as she tirelessly works for reforms to protect women, the youth and Filipino families, create better jobs and improve health services across the nation.
The author of landmark laws such as the Safe Spaces Act, the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act and the Mental Health Act said that she is hopeful for the passage of laws in the 19th Congress that will make “ Healthy Buhay and Hanapbuhay” possible for Filipinos, despite the challenges she faces as part of the Senate minority bloc.
“Tuloy ang ating pagsisikap sa Senado na iangat ang buhay at hanapbuhay ng bawat pamilyang Pilipino, at ang pagsulong sa interes ng kababaihan at kabataan. Kahit anong hamon ang dumating, hindi tayo susuko, magsasawa o maduduwag. We will overcome,” Hontiveros said.
Now 100 days into her second Senate term, Hontiveros has authored at least 51 new landmark bills and has filed 12 Senate resolutions. Her commitment to fulfill her campaign promise of “Health Buhay at Hanapbuhay” is reflected in the diverse range of her proposed legislative measures – from upgrading protections to women and children, to wider availability of free health services and historic labor reforms.
Alongside her legislative advocacies, Hontiveros has bolstered her reputation as a fiscalizer and an independent voice against corruption and human rights abuses. She served as one of the leading figures in the Senate’s investigation of the sugar importation fiasco, where she made the crucial motion to compel top executive officials to face the proceedings. She was again at the forefront of the probe on the multi-billion laptop scandal involving the Department of Education (DepEd).
“Tuloy ang ating pagsisikap sa Senado na iangat ang buhay at hanapbuhay ng bawat pamilyang Pilipino, at ang pagsulong sa interes ng kababaihan at kabataan. Kahit anong hamon ang dumating, hindi tayo susuko, magsasawa o maduduwag. We will overcome.”
Among the landmark bills being pushed by Hontiveros are the Lingap Para Kay Lolo at Lola bill which will implement a system of universal social pension for senior citizens, and the Free Dialysis for Senior Citizens bill which will provide senior citizens access to free dialysis sessions. She also authored the Anti-Hospital Detention bill which will strengthen the legal prohibition against the persistent practice of some hospitals detaining patients due to financial liabilities.
As a celebrated champion of the rights of women, children and the Filipino family, Hontiveros is seeking the passage of the Prevention of Adolescent Pregnancy bill which will boost efforts to help pregnant teens and reduce adolescent pregnancy nationwide, the SOGIESC Equality bill which will protect Filipinos against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and sex characteristics, and the Dissolution of Marriage bill which will provide legal mechanisms and protections for spouses seeking to dissolve their marriage.
Hontiveros, who is known for her support for the working class, is also pushing for the Anti-Endo and Contracting bill which seeks to end the abusive system of labor only contracting of workers, the Protektadong Online Workers, Entrepreneurs, Riders at Raketera (POWERR) bill which offers legal protections and benefits to workers in the gig-economy, and the amendments to the Labor Code of the Philippines, which will update labor laws and make them more consistent with international agreements and conventions.
Outside of the Senate halls, Hontiveros has also recently launched medical missions in Quezon province to provide much-needed medical services to residents of areas badly hit by super typhoon Karding. Such public service programs, she said, are as important as the grueling legislative work they do in the Upper Chamber. “ Sa loob at labas ng Senado, tuloy ang pagtulong at ang paghatid ng Healthy Buhay at Hanapbuhay sa bawat bahagi ng bansa,” she said.