Updated Mar 10, 2019, 8:58:48 PM
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 10) — Four senatorial aspirants were invited to the CNN Philippines' senatorial forum on Sunday. Only three, however, made it.
CNN Philippines grilled Senate bets Leody de Guzman of the Partido Lakas ng Masa, Atty. Larry Gadon of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, and Dan Roleda of the United Nationalist Alliance.
Doctor Willie Ong, a cardiologist and a former newspaper columnist running under the Lakas-CMD was absent at the forum.
Here are the highlights of this Sunday's forum:
Unanimous Yes answers
During the Yes/No portions, all three candidates agreed that there is a need a to review the 68-year-old Mutual Defense Treaty between the Philippines and the United States. The treaty was a hot topic among defense officials from both countries, amid tensions in the South China Sea.
De Guzman, Gadon, and Roleda also unanimously agreed on declaring their campaign expenses on social media. All three have said they have the financial support of friends in their senatorial campaign.
The Commission on Elections had said it plans to regulate candidates' social media expenses, as they require social media platforms to submit poll ad spending reports.
Improving women's rights
In light of Women's Month, the all-male group of senatorial candidates were asked on their proposed legislations that will promote and protect women's rights.
Roleda said he will push for a Magna Carta for Families to promote women's role in the family, as his priority legislation.
"Ako naniniwala kasi na ang nagpapatibay sa ating sosyedad, lalo na sa mga pamilya ay 'yung mga Nanay o ang mga kababaihan. History would show na ang stability ng mundo ay dahil sa inspirasyon na binibigay ng kababaihan, lalo na sa pagpapatibay ng ating mga disiplina, ng mga values," Roleda said.
[Translation: I believe that social units, particularly the family, are reinforced by mothers or women. History would show that the world's stability is anchored on inspiration given by women, especially in the process of instilling discipline and values.]
De Guzman said there are still pockets of inequality between men and women, and proposed a different measure in favor of stay-at-home mothers and housewives.
"Tingin ko dapat ma-konsider ng gobyerno na bigyan na rin ng sweldo o allowance 'yung mga babaeng nandoon sa bahay na siyang tumutulong at naghahanda sa pagtatrabaho ng kanilang mga asawa," he said.
He also wants government to push for free hospitalization for these housewives, considering the amount of work they do in the household.
Gadon, meanwhile has nothing to add, saying enough legislations are in place to promote the welfare of women and children.
"Siguro paigtingin lang ang pag-implement nito," Gadon said. "Hindi ko masasabi na ang mga babae ngayon ay mas mababa ang tingin (sa lalaki). In fact, pantay na pantay na sila. Mas nabibigyan pa sila ngayon ng karapatan."
[Translation: Maybe we have to strengthen its implementation. I cannot say that women are not at par with men today. In fact, they are equal. They are even given more rights.]
He said the presence of women in the military and police force, as well as women leaders in industries are good indicators of gender equality.
If elected, Gadon wants to prioritize passing a bill which will lower electricity prices.
"Magagamit nila ang matitipid nila sa ibang bagay na kanilang kailangan kagaya ng pagkain, tuition, education at mga gamot," he said.
[Translation: They can use whatever they save for other necessities such as food, tuition, education, and medicine.]
He said lower power prices would invite investors in the Philippines and provide more employment opportunities for Filipinos.
Gadon also wants to limit the privatization of power sectors and return some aspects of electrification to the government.
Meanwhile, de Guzman will push for the regularization of labourers and standardizing wages for the nation.