SENATORIABLE Susan "Toots" Ople, daughter of the late statesman Blas Ople, rued what she said is the "lowest period in the history of Senate" following the recent Senate hearing on the C5 controversy.
The Nacionalista Party (NP) candidate said the present Senate has been so divisive that it has lost the respect of many Filipinos.
"Back when my father was a senator and I was his chief of staff, they also have heated argument but at the end of the day they are still friends. It's very saddening to see personal animosity and sometimes bordering on raw hatred of each other unfolding before the public," Ople said.
"The Senate then was an institution where you would go and debate policy issues on the floor leaving the political maneuverings and party-driven dynamics behind closed doors," she added.
For this, Ople said, there is a need to inject fresh blood into the Senate. She said this is what the NP is offering to the Filipino people on the May 10 elections.
"There is the need for fresh blood. We can't afford to have a fragmented Senate dahil maraming problemang haharapin ang bansa. I'm making a pinch for the public to consider that maybe it's about time to look at the records and platforms of the candidates," Ople said.
Asked about her platform, Ople said among others she is focusing on labor and the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
If given the chance to sit in the Senate, Ople said she will propose a law that will put an end on the "contractualization of labor."
"It's not good in the long term because you will have a shrinking middle class and unstable family household and push factor for migration," she said.
Ople said she will also be pushing for reforms in the overseas employment.
"Right now OFWs are suspicious of Owwa. Out of the 12 seats in Owwa board, only two belong to the OFWs. My agenda is to increase the number of seats of OFWs in the Owwa board and will be geographically segregated," she said.
Ople is also plans for the government to have a re-integration program for OFWs, especially for those who went back to the country without money.
Pre-departure orientations, seminars (PDOS) must be overhauled too, she said.
"Right now kasi hindi country specific yung orientation. Walang sensitivities and quality check sa PDOS. For it to be effective it should start on the day the OFW pass on the job interview. Part of the training is on how to use the computer. Equip them with the knowledge on how to use technology in bridging the distance with their family at home," said Ople. (PR)