Legarda wants to boost culture-based livelihoods nationwide
MANILA, Philippines — Incoming Senator Loren Legarda has expressed her aim to expand the scope of the culture-based livelihoods, which are successfully being conducted in her home province, Antique.
According to Legarda, the Philippines is rich in culture-based livelihoods such as handicrafts, pottery, weaving, and embroidery that deserve recognition and should also be developed as they are part of Filipino identity.
“Halimbawa na lang sa aming probinsya sa Antique, isinulong po natin ang culture-based livelihoods sa pagpapatayo ng mga weaving centers, dyeing facilities, at pagbibigay ng mga kagamitan sa ating local artisans. Sa tulong nito ay nakita natin kung paano umunlad ang pamumuhay ng ating mga kasimanwa, dumami ang nabigyan ng trabaho at pagkakakitaan, at naging kilala pa ang gawang Antique sa merkado,” said Legarda, the incumbent representative of the Lone District of Antique.
“Nagawa po nating payabungin ang culture-based livelihoods sa Antique, naniniwala akong kayang-kaya din natin itong gawin sa buong Pilipinas. Patuloy nating pagyamanin pa ang ating kultura at suportahan ang talento ng mga Pilipino dahil ito ay may mahalagang papel na ginagampanan sa pagbangon at pag-unlad ng bansa,” She added.
Legarda has assisted all 18 municipalities of Antique in showcasing their products that include muscovado, tablea, handwoven patadyong, and hand-made pots—and handicrafts made of nito, bariw, buri, abaca, and bamboo—in addition to the training and seminars or the provision of equipment and raw materials in partnership with the DTI.
Recently, Legarda launched the Antique Trade and Tourism Fair in the newly restored Old Capitol Building, an event made possible in coordination with the DTI, the Provincial Tourism Office, and the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, and the Antique Hotel and Restaurants Organization.
Legarda also called on the government and the public for greater support and strengthening of culture-based livelihoods in the country, citing that “culture-based livelihoods do not only bring income to Filipino families but also preserve and protect the cultural heritage of the country.”
She also emphasized the need to empower local communities and indigenous peoples, who are the bearers of our culture.
“Bigyan natin ng oportunidad ang pagkamalikhain ng mga Pilipino na makilala hindi lamang sa Pilipinas, kundi pati na rin sa buong mundo. Ang pagbibigay natin ng suporta sa mga culture-based livelihoods ay siya ding nagbubukas ng mga oportunidad para magkaroon ng dagdag trabaho at pagkakakitaan ang ating mga kababayan,” Legarda said.
Legarda, the Dangal ng Haraya Award: Patron of Arts and Culture by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) recipient, has advocated for and initiated various programs for the promotion and preservation of Philippine Art and Culture. She supported micro-enterprises like the Bagtason Loom Weavers Association (BLWA) in Bugasong, the Malabor Abaca – Piña Weavers Association (MAPWA), and the Tibiao Active Weavers and Knitters Association (TAWKA) in Tibiao; among many others. Assistance was made possible with government programs that aim to improve their products and sustain their businesses.
In her objective to strengthen culture-sensitive governance and development, Legarda authored House Bill No. 6891, An Act Strengthening the Conservation and Protection of National Cultural Heritage through Enhanced Cultural Heritage Education Programs and Cultural Mapping, and House Bill No. 634 or the Department of Culture Act.
Legarda also initiated the establishment of Schools of Living Tradition (SLT), which benefits indigenous communities. She has provided support to the SLT Assistance to Artisans, Enhanced SLT Program, the establishment of weaving, natural dye, and processing centers, and the establishment of pineapple farms and fiber extraction facilities and abaca fiber production in some localities in the country.
Weaving communities all over the country, such as those in Ifugao, Bulacan, Palawan, Camarines Norte, Aklan, Antique, South Cotabato, and Zamboanga del Sur, have also benefited from her support, And so have local artisans and communities through the Assistance for Artisans program of the NCCA.
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