ATENEO Law School emerged as the champion against University of Santo Tomas in the National Finals of the Inter-Law School Debate Competition held at the Senate of the Philippines on January 20, 2016. The teams debated on the motion “Let it be resolved that Congress should override the President’s veto of House Bill No. 5842, An Act Mandating A Two Thousand Peso (2,000) Across-The-Board Increase In The Monthly Pension With Corresponding Adjustment Of The Minimum Monthly Pension Under The Social Security System.”
Team Ateneo-A consisting of Natasha Daphne Marcelo (3C), Rami Hourani (3A) and Jet Garcia (3C) argued on the affirmative side while Mark Vixen Dorado, Diane Lucero, and Jonalyn Roxas of Team UST maintain the negative side. The first speaker of UST, Mark Dorado was awarded Best Speaker for the championship round. The heated disputes on the necessity, beneficiality and practicability of the increase in the SSS pension during the finals were adjudicated by experienced debaters Atty. Michael Vincent Dela Rosa, Atty. Roland Glen Tuazon and Dean Abraham Espejo of the New Era University College of Law, who was also the Chief Adjudicator. Also given recognition was Christopher Reyes of De La Salle University as Best Speaker for the Elimination Rounds held at The Ateneo Law School on January 16, 2016 among 10 teams from 6 different law schools.
The arguments of the opposing teams revolved on the feasibility of the pension hike and its effect to the Social Security System and its members. The trio from Ateneo presented measures and ways to sustain the SSS pension hike while the trio from UST discussed the impossibility and the risk of compromising the stability of the SSS in the near future.
The event, which was also known as the “Debate sa Senado” was organized by Ateneo Law’s St. Thomas More Debate and Advocacy Society in partnership with the Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media. The occasion was also graced with the presence and messages of Senator Grace Poe, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media, and Chairman Eugenio “Toto” Villareal, MTRCB Chairperson and Ateneo STM adviser. (P)