Re-electionist Senator Risa Hontiveros. Photo by Joann Manabat
ANGELES CITY – Some 100 representatives from different sectors and organization leaders in Pampanga showed their support for re-electionist Senator Risa Hontiveros at Garden Dine here on Wednesday.
Businessman and philanthropist Dr. Irineo “Bong” Alvaro, a close ally of Hontiveros, led the call for solid support for the senator to push her rank above the red line. Alvaro said Hontiveros must avoid being in the last slot in surveys to keep her voters away from vote buying in the 2022 elections.
Alvaro and Hontiveros have been providing free medical services through mobile diagnostic clinics during the height of the pandemic through Alvaro’s Bridges of Benevolent Initiative Foundation Inc.
“Ang ating senadora alam natin na pasok yan, we cannot deny that pero kailangan tayong kumilos. Ang kailangan natin ipasok siya at siguraduhin na wala siya sa dulo. Kasi pag nasa dulo ka, ikaw ang biktima at target na bibiktimahin nitong mga nagbabayad, bumibili ng boto, madaraya. That is the reality,” Alvaro said.
“The effect of two year pandemic, tinaas niya ang kahirapan. Kapag tumataas ang kahirapan, dumadami ang kumakagat sa patalim, nagiging vulnerable. At kapag dumarami ang vulnerable, dumadami ang mga oportunistang kandidato na ginagawang biktima ang mga vulnerable,” he added.
Based on the latest Pulse Asia senatorial preferences survey conducted from March 17 to 21, released also on Wednesday, showed that Hontiveros is ranked at the 11th spot behind former Quezon City mayor Herbert Bautista while broadcaster Raffy Tulfo and Antique representative Loren Legarda takes the first and second spot respectively.
A staunch advocate of women’s rights, health, and gender equality, Hontiveros said she will oversee the implementation of the universal health care law and continue to push for her “healthy buhay, hanapbuhay,” program towards pandemic-resilient Filipinos.
“Isusulong ko pa yung mga batas pangkabuhayan na mayroong ding pagbibigay diin sa kababaihan tulad ng batas para magkaroon ng maternity benefit yung mga kababaihan sa informal economies, pagkumpleto sa pagsasabatas ng Lingap para kay Lolo at Lola bill, yun dodoblehin at gagawing universal yung social pension ng ating mga lolo’s lola,” Hontiveros said.
“Idagdag ko pa doon hindi lang sa dito sa Central Luzon pati na sa buong bansa yung mga batas tulad ng Youth Agripreneurship Bill,” she added.
With the nearing 2022 elections, Hontiveros said she remains hopeful that her healthy buhay, hanapbuhay program will be implemented through “gobyernong tapat, angat buhay lahat”, a campaign tagline of presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo.
Hontiveros is seeking another term in the Senate as one of Robredo’s senatorial candidates under the Akbayan Partylist where she sits as the current national chair.