MANILA, Philippines — A former senator vowed to bring more and improved social services through the “LOREN sa Bawat Barangay” program, during a meet-and-greet with Bulacan barangay captains and ABC Presidents of Region 3 as she runs again once more as a senatorial candidate.
For Loren Legarda, to fully understand the needs of every Filipino, you must visit communities and speak with the Barangay captains as they are the officials who encounter their constituents on a daily basis.
“Kung nais mong malaman ang pangangailangan ng bawat Pilipino, ang pinakamabisang solusyon ay kausapin ang ating mga barangay captain dahil sila ang araw-araw na nakakasalamuha ng ating mga kababayan at sila ang mas nakakaalam ng mga hinaing na kailangang mabigyan agad ng aksyon at solusyon ng national and local governments.”Loren Legarda
It is clear that Legarda’s goal is to reach out to the grassroots level, understand the people’s needs, and harness available resources to create more employment, entrepreneurship, and development opportunities for the people in every barangay. With that in mind, she launched LOREN sa Bawat Barangay program in 1998. The acronym stands for Livelihood Opportunities to Raise Employment Nationwide, and Law and Order; Rights of women, children and indigenous peoples; Environment, education, and employment; and Nationalism.
“Kabuhayan at trabaho para sa lahat ang ating kailangan para sa mas mabilis na pagbangon sa pandemya at ang ating mga LGUs, ang ating mga barangay captain, ang magiging katuwang natin para sa epektibong implementasyon ng mga social services at livelihood programs ng ating pamahalaan.”loren legarda
“As I return to the Senate, God willing, I hope to continue strengthening our barangays. Bulacan can be the next major center of economic activity in Central Luzon given its accessibility to Metro Manila and Northern Luzon and the wide array of talents and resources available to the province. We just have to collaborate with the barangays because they are closer to the people and they know what the people need,” Legarda said to the barangay officials of Bulacan.
Through Legarda’s support and initiative, several livelihood assistance and training opportunities to improve the productivity and employability of Bulakenyos were instituted in the province.
The senatorial aspirant sponsored the printing, labeling and packaging services of Halal products of Islam Traders Halal Transactions Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Meycauayan; bag-making of Ma-Igting na Samahan ng mga Panlipunang Negosyante ng Towerville Inc. in San Jose del Monte; and home accessories making of San Ildefonso Doormat Manufacturers Association through the Department of Trade and Industry Shared Service Facilities (DTI SSF).
She also supported the participation of Mang Kiko Singkaban of Paombong in the annual National Arts and Crafts Fair of the DTI, one of the few remaining craftsmen of the decorated bamboo art often used during town fiestas in Bulacan.
As several workers lost their jobs during the pandemic, Legarda was able to provide assistance for the thousands of workers by allocating funds under the Department of Labor and Employment’s Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) Program and its Government Internship program (GIP) for the province and all of its three cities and 21 municipalities.
Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda has also implemented programs that would develop and enhance the skills of the labor force as well as promote entrepreneurship among Bulakenyos. In 2018, she was able to allocate funds under TESDA to provide the province access to Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP), and Special Training for Employment Program (STEP). As of date, more than 100,000 TESDA scholars all over the country benefitted through Legarda’s intervention.
Legarda also said that efficient rural transport and infrastructure will help realize the full potential of the province, thus she supported the allocation for the construction of revetment, roads, and drainage.
Aside from empowering the labor force, Legarda has also prioritized Persons With Disabilities which is why she is the principal author f the Amendment to the Magna Carta for Persons with Disability under Republic Act No. 11228 — where the construction of PWD-friendly facilities and learning materials and supplies for students of special needs in Lawa Elementary School in Obando, Bulacan where allocated.
As a woman who has always supported the Philippine arts and cultural heritage, Legarda has also promoted adaptive reuse and protection of built heritage and among her projects in coordination with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines is the restoration of the historical Barasoain Church in Malolos to preserve and protect this important heritage structure with an aim to increase the level of cultural heritage awareness of the new generation.