MANILA –Two health bills authored by Sen. Risa Hontiveros advanced to the Senate plenary on Wednesday despite the recent Senate reorganization.
Hontiveros, who used to chair the Senate Committee on Health, said that this development proved that her legislative work was “unhampered” by the recent developments.
These bills include Senate Bill No. 1190 or the Philippine Mental Health Act, which seeks to integrate mental health services and programs in the public health system.
She pointed out that the Philippines is one of the few countries in the world without a comprehensive mental health law.
The neophyte senator also sponsored Senate Bill No. 216, or The Amendments to the Anti-Hospital Deposit Act” that seeks heavier penalties on hospitals that continue to demand any deposit or other form of advance payment, as a prerequisite for admission or medical treatment of an emergency patient.
“Our legislative work speaks for itself. And now, despite being in the minority, this will not stop me from championing health legislations”, Hontiveros said.
“I hope these bills will greatly contribute in the realization of universal healthcare for the people. I hope my colleagues can cross party lines for the passage of these important measures,” she added.
To recall, Hontiveros was ousted as Health Committee Chair after Sen. Manny Pacquiao moved to make the chairmanship and membership vacant.
Hontiveros, along with other senators belonging to the Liberal Party (LP), namely Senators Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Leila de Lima, Franklin Drilon and Francis Pangilinan also transferred to the minority after being ousted from their chairmanships.