Senator Loren Legarda
Eulogy for Senator Boy Herrera
November 4, 2015 | Senate Session Hall
Today, we remember Senator Ernesto “Boy” Herrera, a man who is blessed, not by measures of wealth but because he lived it with purpose.
He was a man who valued work and the workers. He was a champion of our nation’s laborers, one who cared for the rights and well-being of the millions of Filipinos who toil to keep the country running but who usually reap the least of its riches. As the general secretary and vice president of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines he stayed with the millions of workforce, a leader that stood up for their causes, while fighting for their rights and welfare.
He persevered against political strife, bureaucracy and injustices, in order that he may deliver a good life to those who followed his vision. Today, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has given thousands of individuals direction by instilling in them skills that will give them a career, a way to become contributing members of society. It was Senator Herrera who planted the seeds of vocational education and training in the country.
On a personal level, I got to know more about the gentleman from Visayas when I was in the Citizens’ Drug Watch Foundation as a journalist. He was focused and active in the Anti-Illegal Drug Watch campaign. He has taught me that a personal advocacy can help uplift the nation, in this case against the vicious cycle that illegal drug consumption can affect its victim, especially the youth. Senator Herrera was courageous and exposed the shabu factories and laboratories that have mushroomed in the metropolis at a time when shabu was not known and reported in mainstream media. He feared not the consequences of his exposé but rather of the repercussion of the maleficent substance to the nation.
As a two-term senator and a representative of the first district of Bohol, one of his greatest legacies was being the author of the Migrant Workers Act of 1995 which instituted the policies of overseas employment and established a higher standard for protection and promotion of the welfare of migrant workers, their families and overseas Filipinos in distress, and for other purposes. Some of our overseas Filipino workers and their families may not know of Senator Herrera but his law serves and protects them to this day.
Senator Herrera’s legislative record was impressive and he concentrated on labor, employment, fiscal, education, and law and order policies. Our colleagues in the Senate and at the Lower House are all praises for him and has dubbed him as one of the legislative’s hardworking public servants with twenty (20) laws to his name, one of the highest records in the 8th and 9th Congresses.
He achieved all this while overcoming his physical handicap caused by polio during his childhood, to become one of the country’s outstanding leaders.
But above his contribution to society and the country as a legislator and labor titan, he is a husband to his wife Lourdes and their 4 children. We join you mourn for a good man.