Batangas Vice Governor Mark Leviste on Wednesday said Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte can do so much in strengthening the country’s health care system if elected vice president.
Speaking during the meet and greet with members and officers of the Association of Nursing Service Administration of the Philippines at the Provincial Capitol Grounds here, Leviste said he takes pride in Duterte’s legacy concerning healthcare during her term as Davao City mayor.
Duterte said she wanted to do nothing else during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic but serve on the frontlines.
“It was so frustrating for me as a healthcare – (my) background, (I am an) allied medical professional, it was so frustrating for me (that I am not in the frontlines),” Duterte told reporters in an ambush interview after meeting with the province’s health workers from the Nursing Service Administrators of the Philippines (ANSAP) at the Provincial Capitol Auditorium here.
In her speech, Duterte revealed that she was a respiratory therapy graduate whose heart is with the healthcare workers.
“As a mayor, she championed the immediate passage of the bill of the universal healthcare for her local government unit and for the benefit of our kababayans in Davao City. And hopefully, through her leadership as Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines, she can spearhead the implementation of our Batangas Kalusugan card into a national advocacy for the benefit of our Filipinos,” Leviste said.
Duterte received her Bachelor of Science in Respiratory degree at the San Pedro College in Davao City in 1999. After finishing law, Duterte said she wanted to pursue Medicine but members of her family were against it.
In her message, Duterte recalled that during the surge of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, she again thought about her dream of becoming a physician.
“What I did was volunteer as a respiratory therapist. Doon nako nag-volunteer sa kapitbahay namin, hindi sa Davao City because if I volunteered in hospitals in Davao City then they will always see me as the mayor,” she added.
Duterte did her volunteer work at the nearby Davao del Norte Regional Medical Center where she used her knowledge and skills in the medical field.