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Choose solons with high EQ, no ‘star’ complex – Roque

Harry Roque

UniTeam senatorial candidate and former party-list representative Harry Roque has stressed the value of consensus-building in Congress to ensure the swift passage of urgent bills into law.

Roque, a congressman for 18 months before becoming a presidential spokesman, managed to have 10 bills signed into law by President Duterte through good-faith consensus-building among his colleagues.

He said that legislators must not display superiority or ‘superstar’ complex to muster Congressional approval of a proposed measure, resolution, or investigation.

“When I was a neophyte lawmaker, I learned the importance of high emotional intelligence and good personality to gain the majority support of fellow legislators,” Roque said.

He said that lawmaking involves both aptitude and the right attitude to push legislation that would improve the quality of life, protect the rights, and promote the interests of Filipinos.

“A brilliantly-crafted bill will not prosper if the proponents cannot build consensus in the collegial body. They need to deal with the other 23 members in the Senate or the 300 representatives in the Lower House,” Roque said.

“An effective and competent lawmaker needs to cultivate a good working relationship with fellow legislators. They know they have their colleagues’ support when they discuss a measure or policy at the plenary.”

Roque authored many significant laws such as the Universal Health Care for Filipinos, free irrigation services for farmers, free lunch for school children, and the National HIV and AIDS policy.

The health and human rights advocate also co-sponsored the law on free wi-fi in public spaces, free tuition in state colleges and universities, anti-hazing, and the balik-scientist program.

If elected senator, Roque has vowed to push for replacing the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) with a corrupt-free National Health Service that seeks to better implement the country’s universal health care.

He said he would also file a supplemental budget measure to the 2022 General Appropriations Act to continue government efforts in rehabilitating residents and communities of Typhoon Odette-ravaged provinces.

He would also consider filing another supplemental budget bill that addresses the socio-economic impacts of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, especially in providing subsidies to the hardest-hit sectors.

Roque’s legislative agenda in the Senate includes ‘zero-hunger’ within six years, access to potable water within six years, a ‘three-day’ court hearing rule, and job creation for pandemic-affected workers.


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