By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Stargate People Asia Magazine honored Sen. Joel “TESDAMAN” Villanueva as one of its People of the Year 2022 in a ceremony at the Conrad Hotel in Pasay City yesterday (April 4).
The publication recognized the senator’s contributions to job creation for Filipinos, and for pushing skills training and capacitation to produce world-class workers in the country.
Villanueva dedicated the award to his mother, Adoracion “Sister Dory” Villanueva, and sister, former Bocaue Mayor Joni Villanueva-Tugna, who both passed away in 2020.
“As I was moving from pain to purpose, I found out that there are only three doctors attending to every 10,000 Filipinos–a far cry from WHO’s recommendations which is 10 doctors for every 10,000. Besides my sister’s wake, I defended the Doktor Para sa Bayan Act, which became a law six months after her interment,” Villanueva said in his acceptance speech.
The senator said that his experience and tragedy gave way for the passage of Republic Act No. 11509 or the Doktor Para sa Bayan Act.
The Doktor Para sa Bayan Act aims to produce more physicians in the country by offering qualified candidates free tuition, book, living, and other allowances. The law requires the scholar to serve in public health facilities for at least one year for every scholarship year enjoyed.
“I am still a work in progress, yet I see that our God is indeed a God of restoration, a God of new beginnings. Clarity of vision gives us confidence in fulfilling our purpose in life, especially in making a difference and being a channel of God’s blessing to others,” the senator said. (ai/mtvn)