Legarda underscores importance of policymaking amidst changing landscape in Ph

March 22, 2024

Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda underscored the importance of continuously shaping policymaking amidst the changing landscape in the Philippines, emphasizing technology, evolution, and gender equality as the main fields of study in effective decision-making for the benefit of the Filipino people.

Legarda made these remarks as she delivered her lecture at the Foreign Service Institute’s (FSI) Partners’ Lecture Series of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), where she highlighted all the learnings she gained as a four-term senator that continues to set the standards and guiding principles in her long-standing career.

“I can trace a history of policymaking in this country and have seen many successes as well as pitfalls. As you know, of particular interest throughout all those years are culture and heritage, environment, climate and disaster resilience, women, MSMEs education, and other fields that give greater opportunities for our people to develop and be lifted out of poverty,” she shared.

“It should not surprise you to realize that all of these fields are intimately interrelated, but they are woven together by very important principles that need to be navigated by skill and brinkmanship to achieve desired outcomes,” Legarda continued.

The senator said that technology should be considered an important aspect of all decision-making, seeing this as a driving force in combating the threats of artificial intelligence in today’s world.

“The challenge of computer learning and data crunching to inform policy decisions, and the wide expanse of opportunities to solve problems with innovation are areas that every legislator needs to be familiar with, and it is a continuing challenge,” Legarda conveyed, noting this as a vital component in the country’s development policies when she authored the Philippine Innovation Act and advocated for the integration of innovation in all government programs.

As Legarda mentioned, evolution should also be treated as vital in the country’s policymaking. According to her, this pertained to an interesting cross-section between evolutionary theory and policymaking, which she called “evolutionary politics.” This is about understanding how people have evolved and how the drastic changes have caused challenges and problems in the community.

Likewise, the four-term senator reiterated that gender equality encompasses nearly all other fields and urged everyone not to think of gender as a separate field.

She added that despite current legislative efforts, gender inequality still persists.

“Beyond acknowledging the struggles that women face, we must showcase women as holders of valuable knowledge and agents of positive change at home, in the service, and the whole of society,” she remarked.

“They are the ones with the supple minds to still take on many of the challenges we are faced with. But they also need room to grow. They need interesting and innovative education approaches. They need opportunities for civic engagement. They need mentorship on critical thinking and media literacy,” Legarda added.

Legarda reminded the forum participants that education remains the strongest key to achieving the goals of a progressive nation.

“We need an educated population thinking critically and innovatively to push together to reach these goals. And we need to engage them by exciting them using material and experiences that are familiar to them. I hope you join me in this continuing journey and challenge to mobilize our citizenry,” Legarda concluded. (End)