Three-term Senator, and now senatorial candidate, Loren Legarda expressed her appreciation for the country’s local chief executives (LCEs) who, according to Legarda, have also been at the frontlines in the fight against the global COVID-19 pandemic.

       Speaking at the Opening Program of this year’s League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) General Assembly, Legarda said that the government’s recovery plan should focus on the economic empowerment of every Filipino family and the LCEs themselves would best know how to craft the national recovery plan, by giving priority to the urgent needs of the people:  jobs , food and health, even climate action.

       Legarda, currently serving as the Representative of the Lone District of Antique, said that local government units have been her steadfast partners in implementing important pieces of legislation such as the Magna Carta for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as well as in bringing social service programs of the national government closer to the people. 

       These programs include emergency employment service and livelihood assistance which have been instrumental in helping Filipinos sustain economic empowerment in the midst of the pandemic when many lost their jobs and livelihood. 

        “Kayo pong local chief executives ang nagpapatupad ng aking mga batas gaya ng MSME law, DOLE TUPAD, Pangkabuhayan, DSWD Sustainable Livelihood Program, pati na rin ang DTI Shared Services Facilities. 

       Sa aking tatlong termino bilang Senador, I made sure that the laws I crafted were not only aligned with the needs of our people, but were enacted in consultation with the local chief executives of our country,” Legarda said.

       She further added that: “I am one with you in the fight against the covid 19 pandemic, against climate change and the fight for sustainable development and good governance.  These are the challenges na kailangan bigyan ng pansin:  rising from the pandemic and surviving the climate crisis, dahil walang maayos na pandemic recovery if it will not be done, if it is not aligned with climate change adaptation.  Ang dalawang ito ay hindi rin natin makakamit kung hindi maayos ang pamamalakad ng gobyerno, maging sa national o sa local level man.”

       The senatorial candidate also appealed to the local chief executives to help ensure the effective implementation of the ten environmental laws she authored and sponsored in her previous term as Senator which she said already form the framework of a sustainable, green pandemic recovery.  These include the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Renewable Energy Act, Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, National Environmental Awareness and Education Act, the Climate Change Act, the People’s Survival Fund Act, the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, and the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System Act. 

        “Napakalaki po ng dagdag sa pondo ng Mandanas ruling sa pamahalaan and we will make sure to use this for pandemic recovery,” Legarda, former Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, added.

       In closing, Legarda expressed her hope to replicate the progress and development that her fellow Antiquenos are now enjoying in other parts of the country, saying that, “I am forever grateful for all the help you have given me. What I have done in Antique, I know I can do for the rest of Panay Region, the rest of Visayas, and the rest of the country.”

       The League of Municipalities of the Philippines General Assembly was held March 1 to 3 at the Marriott Hotel Grand Ballroom in Pasay City.

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