Legarda: I am bringing Antique to its golden age, ensure a sustainable pandemic recovery

December 9, 2021

Three-term Senator, now Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda vowed that Antiqueños can expect more programs and projects in the coming years as she commits to improving the lives of Antiqueños and give priority to addressing the needs of the province.

“Never has Antique had so much hope and improvement in the province,” Legarda declared during her recent Third State of the District Address as the Representative of the Lone District of Antique. “It needs many years to sustain the progress we have achieved for each Antiqueño family, and I will do that. I will not stop. Bilang inyong boses at kinatawan sa Kongreso ay patuloy kong isusulong ang karapatan at kaunlaran ng bawat Antiqueño.”

At the start of her term, Legarda assured the Antiqueños that the next three years would be a period of continued change towards better education, more jobs, a quality health care system, and a greener, resilient, and sustainable province. Since then, Legarda has resolutely served her kasimanwa, launching projects and programs for the betterment of the people.

“Two years ago, ang ating mga kasimanwa ay naghangad ng panibagong simula. Ngayon, buong pagmamalaki nating masasabi na sa loob ng mahigit dalawang taon, nabigyan natin ng bagong pag-asa ang mga Antiqueño. We have steered our province towards resiliency and sustainability,” Legarda said.

Legarda gave the Antiqueños an update of what has been done for the improvement of the province and laid out her vision for the years ahead. Through her intervention as then Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, adequate funds were provided to livelihood and skills development programs in Antique to address the problems of unemployment and lack of livelihood.

Among these programs were DOLE TUPAD, DOLE Pangkabuhayan, DOLE Government Internship Program (GIP), DSWD SLP, DOST CEST, and the TESDA programs. In support of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and to promote the utilization of available skills and resources, Legarda granted aid for the development and construction of a brick-making facility; provided funding for the Bamboo Crafts and Furniture Facility; and helped in establishing weaving and cotton-processing centers to promote the weaving industry and culture-based livelihood in the province.

Legarda also extended assistance to the farmers and fisherfolk in coordination with the Department of Agriculture, BFAR, NDA and PCC. The shared efforts resulted in the provision of agricultural machineries, livestock, carabaos and heifers, fishing gears and FRP boats, among others.

Amid the ongoing pandemic, Legarda continues to ensure that Antique has a quality healthcare system to serve every Antiqueño. She made sure that adequate funding was placed under the DSWD Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) and DOH Medical Assistance for Indigent Patients (MAIP). She funded the construction and upgrade of hospitals, RHUs, and BHS all over the province. The province also received, for the first time, 4 units of sea ambulances to cater to islands and coastal areas, and for use in hospitals in Caluya and Culasi.

On education, Legarda provided scholarship grants through CHED’s Tulong Dunong Program. She also allocated funds for the construction of new classrooms and multipurpose buildings. To assist the Department of Education and the teachers themselves in delivering quality education through alternative learning approaches, Legarda earmarked funds for the improvement of facilities in the Schools Division Office. And for the procurement and provision of Information Technology (IT) packages for teaching and non-teaching personnel, funds were also provided.

Aside from the upgrading of transportation services through the reopening of, and ongoing improvements at, the Antique Airport and the opening of new FastCat RoRo routes, Legarda has ensured that necessary infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and ports are also in place to guarantee productivity, opportunity for trade and tourism, social integration, and job generation.

These are just some of the many advancements and programs that Legarda has brought about in Antique. Legarda, who is about to end her three-year term and is set for a Senate comeback at the 2022 elections, says that her return to the Senate will certify that Antique will continue to receive programs and projects that will eradicate poverty in the province and help Antiqueños recover from the pandemic.

“Tiyak po ako na mas lalong naging mahirap ang ating sitwasyon lalo na sa gitna ng pandemya. Kaya’t ito ang nag-tulak sa akin na magdesisyon na tumakbo uli bilang Senador sa susunod na eleksyon. Ngayon mas makakatulong at makakapag-bigay ng mas marami pang bulig para sa ating mga kasimanwa,” Legarda said.

“Tuyo ko nga magserbisyo sa probinsiya kag sa mga Antiqueño kag seguraduhon nga mabaton kang tanan ang para kaninyo. Prayoridad ko ang inyo kinahanglanun, kag obrahun ko ang akun ikasarang para matugro ria kaninyo. We will work even harder to make sure that Antique will never go back to being a backward and impoverished province in Panay Island where people felt hopeless and sad. We cannot go back to poverty and darkness. I will not allow that. I will continue to take care of you,” Legarda concluded.

*** Read the full speech here: https://lorenlegarda.com.ph/third-state-of-the-district-address-of-deputy-speaker-loren-legarda/