If you’ve turned on the news today, much of the headlines about the second PiliPinas Debate were about the cause of delay and how the candidates ganged up on Vice President Jejomar Binay. And based on certain Twitter reactions, the behind-the-scenes footage from TV5 provided great insight on the candidates' characters.
There are also scorecards on how each candidate did on the topics discussed: freedom of information bill, corruption, tax laws, Yolanda rehab program, crime, and the coco levy. Did we gain a semblance of the kind of leadership each candidate will have based on their answers? That’s very much still up in the air.
What has been bugging us for the last two debates, however, is the lack of topics dealing with family, health, and education. Sure, divorce had been asked, but yesterday's format didn’t allow for elaboration. (For the record, all candidates were against divorce except for Miriam Defensor Santiago, who was absent during this debate but explained in a tweet that she supports divorce on the grounds of adultery and a spouse making an attempt on the life of his or her partner).
There’s much to be gleaned about a candidate’s intelligence, empathy, and leadership when we hear his stand or plans on issues like public healthcare, financial support mandated by law for battered women and single moms, or the private and public educational system. Yet these are questions that have not been asked. We are hoping the candidates will have a chance to do so in the next debate (scheduled for April 24 on ABS-CBN), and they will involve questions like the ones below we've collected from concerned parents and individuals.
Private schools are cropping up as a result of the lack of quality in our public schools. However, instead of helping alleviate the problems in our education system, these private schools typically offer no definite advantages over the public education system, such as the same large class sizes and inadequate facilities. The implementation of K-12 has further exacerbated this issue. If you are to be a president elect, what will be your concise approach and the phases of your plan to tackling these issues?--Bong Segovia, father of two, Davao
How do you plan to improve the quality of health care in charity wards located in government-owned hospitals?--Marie Bernabe, mom of eight, Rizal
How will you simplify the complexity of the medical insurance coverage so it becomes easier for individuals to get coverage on their own?--S.J., mother of one, Pampanga
My family and I live in Cavite, and though I know that there are health projects in the barangay level, there’s seems to be a lack of follow-up or maintenance. I often find myself asking our health center to talk about women’s health when I know it should be regularly held. To those running for president, what is your game plan for health projects for towns like mine, just outside Metro Manila, especially in the barangay level?--Lette L., mother of one, Cavite
If you were to choose between allocating budget for the military, health, and education, which one will be your highest priority and why?--Philippe Jonasse, married with no kids, Pasig
What is your final position on the RH bill?--Mags N., mother of two, Mandaluyong City
How would you expand the benefits currently in place under the Solo Parents' Welfare Act?--Deanne Pelayo, single mom of one, Nueva Ecija
Do you agree that the Anti-Bullying Act of 2013 should include teachers?--Olivia Clemente, single mom of two, Pasay
What proactive measures will you provide to displaced tertiary education teachers in the private sector as a result of K12?--M. Juneseas, teacher, Las Pinas
What would you ask our presidential candidates when it comes to family, health and education?