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Roque to prioritize bills promoting social change

Harry Roque

UniTeam senatorial candidate Harry Roque vowed to complete his “unfinished business” as a legislator by re-filing and updating the 210 proposed laws that he previously sponsored in the House of Representatives if elected.

“We can better advocate reforms in our socio-political institutions if we are back in Congress rather than in the parliaments of the street or a private capacity,” Roque said.

A former party-list representative in the 17th Congress, Roque had to leave Congress to serve as President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesperson until the filing of his Certificate of Candidacy for senator for the May 2022 elections.

Roque said the main focus of his legislative agenda are policies and laws for genuine social change, such as the Filipinos’ right to life, health, and livelihood activities.

He said that there must be a balance between public health and the economy’s health in the face of an international health emergency.

Roque, a human rights defender, is also pushing for better healthcare implementation, reforms in the justice system, access to food and clean water, and job creation.

“We can better advocate reforms in our socio-political institutions if we are back in Congress rather than in the parliaments of the street or a private capacity,” he said.

“Central to our legislative agenda are policies and laws that are drivers for genuine social change,” he said.

Roque seeks to establish the National Health Service by implementing the Universal Health Care law agency he authored to replace the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

The health advocate also wanted a national quarantine law that creates a policy-making body overseeing national quarantine protocols and compliance.

He proposed a measure targeting ‘zero hunger’ within seven years through a Commission on the Right to Adequate Food. A companion bill that provides clean, potable water to Filipinos would also be re-filed by Roque.

Roque has proposed a Victims Compensation Fund for justice reforms wherein the government automatically indemnifies heinous crime victims and their surviving families.

He also promised to reinstate the Spanish-era ‘Inquisitorial System’ in Philippine criminal courts, litigating and resolving cases within three days.

To further aid Typhoon Odette victims, Roque suggested the creation of the Odette Rehabilitation Bond that will supplement the 2022 national budget.

At the same time, Roque cited the need for national policies that provide new sources of income to people who lost their jobs and other sources of livelihood during the pandemic-induced economic lockdowns.

However, Roque said the government must address the rising number of people experiencing hunger and impoverishment due to loss of income or employment due to several lockdowns since 2020.

Roque said the government had gone the extra mile to lower the country’s Covid incidence and fatalities through a nationwide vaccination drive and Covid health packages provided under the healthcare law.

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