CEBU, Philippines – Vice presidential candidate and Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III promised Cebuanos Saturday, April 2, that there would be more doctors produced in Cebu if he is elected.
“Dadami na ang doctors hindi lang sa Cebu, kung hindi sa buong Pilipinas (There will be more doctors not just in Cebu, but in the whole Philippines),” Sotto said.
Sotto made the comments during a proclamation rally by the Osmeña-family led Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK), who endorsed his candidacy for vice president on Saturday, without endorsing his standard bearer Senator Ping Lacson.
The senate president cited a medical scholarship program being offered in Cebu through a law he authored, Republic Act 11509, or the Doktor Para sa Bayan Act.
Under the law, the government will cover the scholar’s tuition and other miscellaneous fees, allowances for books and equipment, and lodging fees, among others.
The law institutionalizes the medical scholarship program and includes a “mandatory return of service” so that program beneficiaries can help “underserved” municipalities that need more licensed physicians.
In May 2021, Cebu Normal University-Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (CNU-VSMMC), a hospital named after Sotto’s ancestor, became the first in Central Visayas to open a state-funded medical school.
Sotto promised Cebuanos that if he wins in the May 2022 elections, he will be able to push proper implementation of the law and ensure that anyone in Cebu can become a doctor.
During his speech, Sotto lamented how some of the bills he had been involved with had not been properly implemented through the years, among them is the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
“We passed the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. I principally authored that law. Isa sa mga problema ko, hindi sinusunod ng tama yung pagpapatupad ng batas (One of my problems, the law is not properly implemented),” Sotto said.
Sotto added that prevention and rehabilitation against drugs were always part of the law but unfortunately, was never properly implemented by the administration.
He explained that the focus on enforcement and killing of drug pushers will never solve the problem of illegal drugs for as long as there are drug-dependents.
“Kaya iniisip ko pumasok kami sa executive department. Kapag ako napunta doon, gagawin nating tama yong batas (That’s why I thought we should enter the executive department. If I’m put there, we will do right by the law),” he said.
He points out: “[Ang] pinakamagaling magpatupad ng batas yung gumawa ng batas (The best person to implement the law is the person who wrote it),” Sotto said. – Rappler.com
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