Opening Message of House Deputy Speaker and Lone District of Antique Representative Loren Legarda Capacity-Building on Innovative Leadership and Legislation (CBILL) Program for Antique

November 11, 2020

Allow me to extend my warmest greetings to our officials – Governor Rhodora Cadiao, Vice Governor Ed Denosta, and to all our Mayors who are participating in this program. To our resource speakers and staff from the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), a pleasant morning to all.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken all of us by surprise, greatly changing the way we interact in our homes, communities, and workplaces. We have to rethink our ways and lifestyles, as we all swiftly try to adapt to this new normal.

I have always believed that we are all perennial students, having stressed always the importance of being open to learning all the time. We can never have the monopoly of knowledge and information, because each of us will always possess a unique skill, talent that we can learn from one another. Such belief has led me to support programs like these, organized by the DAP, because I believe that we as public servants have to continue learning and enhance our competencies to serve our constituents better. Change is constant, they say, so we must always change and transform ourselves for the better.

As elected leaders and appointed officials of Antique, it is our duty to govern well, serve unconditionally, and lead our people towards progress.

It was in 1998 when I first ran for public office with a vision to help provide solutions to what I saw were the pressing problems of the country on poverty, education, health, employment, livelihood, women’s and children’s rights, environment degradation, and vulnerability to disasters. Since then, I have experienced firsthand how challenging it is to make sure that the laws we created are being implemented strictly and effectively and that the intent of such laws translate to programs and projects that actually benefit the people.

Our country has been and is still facing a series of technological, socio-economic and global challenges that altered the way we live, the way we envision the future, and the quality of life, not only of ours but of our future generations.

It is the responsibility of the government, especially the local government units (LGUs), to understand these challenges, take proactive measures, and plan, build and support sustainable communities that will optimize our nation’s future.

As we are in the midst of battling COVID 19, we have also come to the realization that we have to take action noting the magnitude of the unprecedented challenge that stands before us. We have all witnessed how this pandemic has crippled our economy and affected people’s sources of livelihood, hitting the marginalized and vulnerable the most, and exposed the imbalances in access to food and health care services. COVID-19 has shown us that we have to augment our current efforts and pursue more effective innovative responses and policies that ensure that our constituents feel safe, secure and well. 

I am hoping that your participation in the Capability Building on Innovative Leadership and Legislation (CBILL) Program of the DAP will serve as a venue for you to reinforce your moral responsibility as leaders to work even harder towards achieving an inclusive, equitable, resilient, sustainable and transformative development.

Our kasimanwa have placed you in your current positions because they believe that you will bring change to their lives and you will build better communities for them. Thus, in return, I encourage you to give them greater confidence in what you have been doing well, focus and plan on what you can do now, and continue building the blocks that can ultimately pave the way for a greater and brighter future. 

Thank you and I wish this event success. A pleasant morning to all.