The winners of the 2019 Philippine senatorial elections have been officially proclaimed. Upon the shoulders of each new senator falls the responsibility to craft and pass new laws for the duration of their term. Here’s a closer look at their platforms and promises during the campaign season–specifically, the policies related to science and technology that we can expect from them in the next six years.
Cynthia Villar: Agriculture
In her first term as senator, Cynthia Villar’s legislative track record involved making laws on the rights of women, children, and senior citizens, as well as agriculture and financial assistance for tertiary-level students. Villar also mentioned during her campaign that to date, she has put up 1,932 livelihood projects and 1,855 farm schools across the Philippines.
During her campaign, Villar promised to continue creating more livelihood projects for the poor, help ensure affordable food, and support the agricultural sector.
Grace Poe: Education, information access
In her 20-point agenda for her unsuccessful 2016 presidential bid, Grace Poe highlighted renewable energy, disaster preparedness, and climate change preparedness as part of her priorities. As senator, she pushed for the establishment of Department of Disaster Resilience and Emergency Management (DDREM) via Senate Bill 1735. She also co-authored RA 11035, or the Balik Scientist Act.
According to Poe, she will focus on crafting policies on public school and SUC modernization, as well as freedom of information.
Bong Go: Health, fire safety
Bong Go spearheaded the launch of the Malasakit Center, where patients can easily avail medical services.
Go promised voters during his campaign that he will continue to be the public’s link to the President. He also pledged to continue to support the administration’s anti-drug initiative. He also promised to improve put up more Malasakit Centers and create laws on fire prevention, among others.
Pia Cayetano: Environment and public health
Pia Cayetano’s 2019 platform is consistent with her legislative track record. She has promised to focus on policies involving women, children and the elderly, reproductive health, nutrition, HIV-AIDs, increased tobacco taxation, affordable medicine, and environmental awareness. She also said that she will pass laws “that will benefit Filipino families.”
Bato dela Rosa: Health and water management
Newly elected Bato dela Rosa has been upfront about focusing on law enforcement and his vision of “a drug- and crime-free Philippines.” He also supports the idea of the government taking over water-related matters. However, instead of creating a Department of Water, Bato proposes using the power of eminent domain to allow the government to take over Maynilad as a short-term solution.
Sonny Angara: Education and healthcare
Another incumbent senator who made it to the top 12, Sonny Angara has promised to craft policies on senior citizen welfare and universal healthcare. He will also focus on improving education programs, including the Unified Student Financial Assistance System Act.
Lito Lapid: Agriculture, education, environment, and health
Lito Lapid’s track record as a senator includes sponsoring SBN-2095, or the Urban Agriculture and Vertical Farming Act, and SBN-2733, or the Adopt-A-Wildlife Species Act. He has also been involved in crafting policies on health and education. Unsurprisingly, he anchored his 2019 platform on agriculture, environment, education, and health.
Imee Marcos: Energy, agriculture, communication
The incumbent governor of Ilocos Norte, Imee Marcos, has long championed clean and renewable energy in her province. She plans to bring her advocacy to the Senate by working on renewable sources of electricity and reduced dependence on imported oil. She has also promised to work on lowering the cost of food, commuting, and communication (e.g., by making Wi-Fi more widely available). Additionally, she will push for the suspension of value-added tax (VAT) on agricultural products, medicine, and gasoline, as well as a higher ethanol blend in car fuel.
Francis Tolentino: Environment, disaster preparedness, water management
As part of his 2019 platform, Francis Tolentino has promised to create laws revolving around environmental justice and disaster preparedness. Specifically, he will push for the creation of a department dedicated to providing assistance to victims of calamities. He will also support the creation of the Department of Water Resources Management.
Koko Pimentel: Healthcare for senior citizens
Ensuring the passage of the free irrigation law and free tuition law are among the accomplishments that Koko Pimentel highlights when talking about his term as Senate President. In his next term as senator, Pimentel will focus largely on economic and government-related policies. However, he will also devote time to establishing specialty hospitals for senior citizens.
Bong Revilla: Infrastructure development
The self-proclaimed “Man of Action,” Bong Revilla, has promised to focus on poverty alleviation and reduction during his next term. According to him, this will involve crafting laws on infrastructure development.
Nancy Binay: Policies for women, children, and senior citizens
Senator Nancy Binay devoted much of her first term as senator towards crafting and passing laws on environment conservation and sustainability, including a resolution for zero-waste tourism in Boracay and the Green Packaging Act of 2019. This time around, she has promised to focus on policies for women, the youth sector, and the elderly.
Note: An earlier version of this article contained the phrase “power of imminent domain,” and has been corrected.
Author: Mikael Angelo Francisco
Bitten by the science writing bug, Mikael has years of writing and editorial experience under his belt. As the editor-in-chief of FlipScience, Mikael has sworn to help make science more fun and interesting for geeky readers and casual audiences alike.