Legarda Calls for Greater Support to Female Entrepreneurs, Indigenous Women

March 13, 2014

In celebration of the National Women’s Month in March, Senator Loren Legarda today placed the spotlight on indigenous women and female micro entrepreneurs.

Legarda said that women, especially housewives, explore opportunities for additional income for their families. “We need to provide viable income alternatives to women and we have laws to support women micro entrepreneurs.”

“If we want more women participating in livelihood and other economic activities, we have the Magna Carta for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and the Barangay Kabuhayan Law. These two laws complement each other since recipients of the livelihood and skills training programs in the centers established under the Barangay Kabuhayan Law may well avail of the funding and technical support that are now available under the MSMEs Act. These laws can help us in our goal to empower women to participate in economic activities,” she said.

The Magna Carta for MSMEs (R.A. 9501), which Legarda authored, provides more assistance to MSMEs through increased loan allocation for micro and small businesses, access to new technologies, and regular entrepreneurship training programs for workers as well as a comprehensive development plan that would ensure the viability and growth of MSMEs in the country.

Meanwhile, the Barangay Kabuhayan Law (R.A. 9509), which she also authored, mandates the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) to provide support to all 4th, 5th and 6th class municipalities in formulating and conducting livelihood programs for their poor constituents.

Since her first term in the Senate, Legarda has been supporting women entrepreneurs. She supported the TESDA Women Center Alumni Association (TWCAA), which trains women in entrepreneurship and livelihood skills.

She also supported Schools of Living Traditions (SLTs), particularly of the Ata-Talaingod, the Mandaya, the B’laan, and the Bagobo Tagabawa communities, to promote their traditional arts, crafts, music and indigenous practices.

“In supporting SLTs, we do not only support our women weavers and the livelihood of our entrepreneurs among indigenous communities, but we also boost tourism, strengthen trade and promote culture,” she said.

In 2012, Legarda launched the Hibla Pavilion of Textiles and Weaves of the Philippines, which opened doors of opportunity to weaving communities and SLTs to showcase their indigenous products and weaving traditions. SLTs that participated were those of the Ivatans, Iraya Mangyans, Hanunuo Mangyans, Maguindanaons, Gaddangs, Panay Bukidnons, B’laans, Ata Manobos, Subanens, and T’bolis.