MANILA, Philippines — During her visit to Agusan Del Norte, Senatorial candidate Loren Legarda emphasized the top priorities in her legislative agenda saying that livelihood assistance, employment generation, and green pandemic recovery are all crucial in developing CARAGA further.
“Sa loob ng dalawampung taon nating panunungkulan bilang public servant, naging pangunahing adhikain po natin ang pagsusulong ng mga programa na makapag-bibigay ng trabaho at kabuhayan. God-willing, pagbalik po natin sa Senado, sisiguraduhin natin na ang mga programa na ito ay patuloy na mapondohan, mapalawak at mapaigting ang implementasyon upang mas marami pa nating kababayan ang makinabang para sa mas epektibong pag-ahon at pagbangon mula sa pandemya,” Legarda said.
Legarda has consistently given priority in terms of legislation and funding allocation to livelihood and skills training development programs of the government. Among these, for example, are the Barangay Kabuhayan Skills Training Program (BKSTP), Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP), and Special Training for Employment Program (STEP), all under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) benefitting trainees in Dinagat Islands, Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Sur, and Surigao del Norte.
The deputy speaker also advanced the implementation of the DOLE TUPAD Program in the region for the purpose of providing emergency employment for displaced workers, underemployed and seasonal workers. Legarda also put a premium on assistance and protective services for the marginalized and disadvantaged through the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) by allocating funds for the whole region.
Cognizant that infrastructure is vital to economic development, Legarda allocated funds for various DPWH projects including the construction of Multipurpose Buildings in Bislig City and Lingig of Surigao del Sur.
During the onslaught of typhoon Odette in December last year, Legarda extended her help to Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands, while also helping communities in her province which was also among the provinces that sustained damage, by immediately providing food packs and construction materials from personal resources.
Recognizing the role of nature in people’s survival against calamities, Legarda principally authored the Expanded National Integrated Protected Area System (E-NIPAS) under Republic Act 11038, which establishes 94 protected areas in the country and provide for the management of these sites. Under the ENIPAS law, three protected areas are located in CARAGA region: the Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary in Agusan del Sur, the Siargao Island Protected Landscape and Seascape in Surigao del Norte, and the Tinuy-An Falls Protected Landscape in Surigao del Sur.
“As a country often visited by devastating typhoons, we should have long understood the workings of nature and learn from these experiences to help ourselves become resilient. We have to continue to build with nature, promote nature-based solutions to effectively prevent further loss and damage. Let us protect our environment and preserve our protected areas because these are our natural buffers against flooding, erosion, and other climate hazards.”loren legarda
As an advocate of culture and arts preservation, Legarda has initiated the establishment of Schools of Living Traditions as an effort to save the culture and traditions of the indigenous people and provide a venue to impart skills and techniques to the younger generations and one of these, the SLT Agusan del Sur of the Manobos, can be found in Bunawan, Agusan del Sur.
“As I seek another seat at the Senate, with your support, I hope to continue what I have already started for the Caraganons and help ensure that programs of the national government will reach even the farthest provinces, and even down to the barangay level. Nakita ko po kung paano nabago ang buhay ng aking mga kasimanwa sa Antique nang ating bigyan ng higit na halaga ang pangangalaga sa kalikasan at kultura, at nang ating isinulong ang dagdag-oportunidad sa trabaho at kabuhayan. Nagawa po natin sa Antique, hindi po imposibleng magagawa din natin sa bawat probinsya sa bansa. Pagtulungan po nating makabangon at tuluyang umunlad sa kabila ng hamon ng pandemya at ng climate crisis.”
As one of the endorsed candidates of the PDP-Laban, Legarda was invited to join the party’s grand rally inloren legarda