Senator Luisa "Loi" P. Ejercito Estrada
A doctor by profession, Senadora ng Masa Luisa "Loi" P. Ejercito Estrada has been exposed to the sub-standard condition of the health and medical system in the country. This exposure led her in advocating for the establishment of various health care facilities such as centers on women's health and nutrition and the installation of dialysis machines in all hospitals. In her primary mission to address the problems in the medical field, her most notable projects began more than a decade ago through the conduct of medical missions in various parts of the country, especially in the more depressed areas. As wife of a former Mayor, Senator, Vice-President and President of the Philippines, she acquired hands-on experience in helping uplift the lives of the poor and the less fortunate. As First Lady, she captured the hearts and minds of Filipinos by going to the most remote barangays in the country to bring relief and medicine to the afflicted, all without the customary fanfare and publicity.
In the Senate, as Chairperson of the Committee on Youth, Women and Family Relations, Senadora Loi's legislative agenda focused on the crafting of bills that seek to provide for the eradication of all forms of violence committed against the youth and women, for the prevention of illegal trafficking of persons, for the protection and empowerment of the youth and women, and for the preservation and promotion of family relations. To this effect, she has successfully sponsored and defended the passage of two landmark pieces of legislation -- R.A. No. 9208, The Anti-Trafficking in Person's Act and R.A. No. 9262, The Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act.
During the 12th Congress, Senadora Loi has authored 121 bills and 13 resolutions, some of which have already been enacted into law: R.A. No. 9241, The National Health Insurance Program; R.A. No. 9211, The No Smoking Act; R.A. No. 9167, The Film Development Council of the Philippines, R.A. No. 9165, The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act; and R.A. No. 9275, The Clean Water Act. She also actively participated in the enactment of at least 29 other important measures and served as a conferee in various bicameral conference committees. She continued to author bills providing for the protection of the marginalized sectors, equal opportunity for women, protection of the children and the elderly, and the establishment of a National Family Welfare Commission.
In the Commission on Appointments, as chairperson of the Committee on Health, vice chairperson of the Committee on National Defense, and member of fifteen (15) other committees, Senadora Loi also took a very active role in considering the fitness and qualifications of presidential nominees during confirmation hearings.
In the 13th Congress, Senadora Loi is an active member of twelve (12) Senate committees, and of the Congressional Oversight Committee on Ecological Solid Waste Management and the Congressional Oversight Committee on Clean Water. She has filed bills affecting Filipino society, notably on the economy, health, environment, politics, electoral reforms, education and sports, and the maintenance of peace and order. She has filed bills providing for a people's initiative to amend the Constitution, giving benefits for barangay captains, penalizing electoral fraud, random drug testing, penalizing obscenity on the television and the telephone, and granting discounts to underprivileged students and protecting household helpers and ambulant vendors, among others. Further, she has prioritized bills for health education and prevention in the fields of reproductive health, genetically manufactured organisms, prostrate cancer, breast implants, folic acid, hepatitis and tuberculosis, among others. As a member of the Senate Electoral Tribunal, she sits as a judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of senators.
Senadora Loi has always believed in the empowerment of the marginalized sectors and the need to initiate pro-poor programs, policies and reforms to help improve the quality of life of the less fortunate and to lessen the degree of inequality in the distribution of social and economic opportunities. She would like to be remembered as a doctor who took care of the sick outside the confines of a hospital; as the active partner of a caring president who went out of the trappings of her sheltered life into the remotest barangays of the country. She would like to be regarded as a senator whose principled advocacies led to the passage of relevant landmark legislation that helped change Philippine society.
Tuloy ang misyon ni Loi!