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Farewell, seatmate

Last October 30, I lost a mentor. My former seatmate, mentor, and friend Senator Flavier passed away. I paid my respects, and for the last time, looked upon his smiling face. Today, we had the necrological service for the late Senator Flavier in the Senate. At the necrological services, listening to my colleagues deliver their […]

Victory in the Supreme Court: Reproductive Health Law is Constitutional

By a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court declared the Reproductive Health Law as constitutional. This is the final victory of a long-fought battle – one that lasted almost two decades and several Congresses – to provide Filipinos with a most basic right: the right to reproductive health. Today, this gives us the green light to […]

Legislative Agenda for 2014

On the first Saturday of the year, my amazing Senate legal team indulged me and let me buy them a cup of coffee each in exchange for working on a weekend. I wanted to take stock of where we were so we could start our year strong. It happened to be the birthday of my […]

Breast Milk Bank: A first in the Visayas

On Friday, I launched a breast milk bank at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center – the first of its kind in the Visayas. This is in connection with my advocacy to promote breastfeeding, and is also consistent with the mandate of RA 10028 or the Expanded Breastfeeding Act, which I sponsored. Six years ago, I […]

Ten facts about the RH Bill

Last year, I sponsored Senate Bill No.2865, otherwise known as the Reproductive Health Bill. It went through the process – we had hearings, then we made our committee report , which embodies SB 2865. Since then, there have been many questions raised by the public and rightly so, given that intelligent debate and discourse are […]

Every child deserves a 5th Birthday: Child Survival Call to Action

On June 14 and 15, 2012 delegates from all over the world met in Washington DC to renew their commitment to ending preventable child deaths as part of the Millennium Development Goals.   I was one of those delegates from the Philippines, along with Dr Eric Tayag , Assistant Secretary of the Department of Health. Child […]

Smoking Kills

The statistics… Tobacco use kills more than five million people per year. It is responsible for 1 in 10 adult deaths. Every eight seconds, someone dies because of smoking-related diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and heart diseases.[1] Among the five greatest risk factors for mortality, it is the single most preventable cause of death. […]

Senate's Launch of our Film Showing on the State of Maternal and Child Health

8 March 2011 Senate of the Philippines Film Showing on the State of Maternal and Child Health Last March, in  celebration  of Women’s month, my office and the Senate, in cooperation with Mu Sigma Phi Fraternity of UP Manila College of Medicine, hosted a  film showing on women’s lives. The films which include a documentary and short […]

A Quiet Day in the Senate: Family Code Amendments and A1H1 Vaccination

September 9, 2010 Thursdays are usually quiet in the Senate. It is not a session day, but there are hearings in the morning and the afternoon. I had two things going on that day. One was the  hearing I chaired on the Committee on Women, Youth and Family Relations with respect to the amendment of […]

A Day with the Running Priest in Hong Kong

How do you spend a day  in Hong Kong with the Running Priest? Contrary to what many of my friends guessed, there was no running (we’ve done that), no mass, no confession (at least not real confession). But it was still a cardio-packed day filled with spiritual reflection,  thought-provoking conversation and inspiration. I went to […]