Legarda on 119th Independence Day: Diversity Breeds Unity, Culture and Heritage Key to Inclusive Growth

June 12, 2017

Senator Loren Legarda today said that a shared understanding of the diverse Filipino culture is key to promoting inclusive growth.


Legarda made the statement as the nation celebrates the 119thAnniversary of Philippine Independence with the theme “Kalayaan 2017: Pagbabagong Sama-Samang Balikatin.”


“Our culture and our values define our being Filipino. We can never work together wholeheartedly towards the inclusive growth and development of our nation if we do not have national pride as a people, if we do not appreciate the richness of our diverse culture,” she said.


The Senator said that the current administration’s development blueprint, the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022, is anchored on three pillars—Pagbabago, Patuloy na Pag-unlad, and Malasakit.


The third pillar, Malasakit, is about enhancing the social fabric by ensuring people-centered, clean, and efficient governance; pursuing swift and fair administration of justice; and promoting Philippine culture and values.


“Our culture is our identity. Our different ethno-linguistic groups—each with a distinct heritage of traditions, dance, art, music, folklore, beliefs, value systems—make up the identity of the Filipino people. Ensuring inclusivity in a nation that has rich and diverse culture is a difficult challenge, but not impossible,” Legarda explained.


She added that diversity should not be used as an instrument to divide. “Diversity breeds richness in our culture and heritage. Diversity brings everyone together for as long as there is understanding and respect.”


Legarda said that cultural considerations cannot anymore remain on the sidelines of policy making.  These need to be integrated in education, economic planning, urban and rural development, technological innovations, among others.


“We need to increase the level of cultural awareness, inculcate values for the common good, cultivate creativity, and strengthen culture-sensitive governance and development,” she stressed.


“Achieving inclusive growth is only possible if we have a shared understanding of who we are as a people. We may have come from different provinces with varied cultures, practices and traditions, but we are united by our history and the triumph of our national heroes, who came from different cultures but were united by the goal of achieving our nation’s independence,” Legarda concluded.