The UP Manila Debate Circle, in partnership with HealthJustice, held the first ever Public Health Debate entitled “Let’s talk about health.” last May 19 and 20 at the University of the Philippines, Manila.
The Ateneo Debate Society rose as the champion amongst the twelve teams from the top universities of the country, which competed to discuss essential issues about the Philippine Healthcare System, sin tax reforms, and Health Promotion.
“Being a debater is a lifestyle of how one consumes information, recognizing everything as an argument that can be challenged. It opens one up to explore a world of complex and dazzling ideas and, more importantly, solutions to the issues of the day. It instills not only a more refined perspective on the issues of healthcare, but also a mindset of finding answers,” said Elmer Jason V. Cruz, Tournament Director from the UP Manila Debate Circle.
“If we already suspect a structural problem in how healthcare is delivered, then it is high time we all start challenging status quo, and craft more effective solutions,” Cruz added.
Dr. Bryan Lim of UP Manila and Dr. Ulysses Dorotheo of the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance also gave lectures on the universal healthcare plan of the country and how future health professionals can help the cause, respectively.
The debate tournament was organized with the aim to raise awareness on the value of health promotion, as a branch of public health that enables people to increase control over, and to improve, their health.
“We believe that the best means to enable and empower people is to raise their consciousness to equip them in making informed decisions about their health,” said Atty. Irene Reyes, Managing Director of HealthJustice in her welcome message.
“HealthJustice recognizes the key role that the youth play in promoting important issues like health promotion and tobacco control. The youth sector’s role in the future of health in this country cannot be discounted. How we mold our youth today will dictate the future of the country. Health-conscious youth would yield a healthy population. We hope that we all become one in our vision of a healthy Philippines,” she added.