Legarda calls for greater support for culture-based livelihoods in celebration of National Heritage Month

By: Doris C. Bongcac May 07,2022 - 07:02 PM

Nationalist People’s Coalition senatorial bet Loren Legarda, a patron of culture and environmental causes, is a moving force behind culture-based livelihood programs.


CEBU CITY, Philippines — As the country celebrates this year’s National Heritage Month, three-term Senator and current senatorial candidate Loren Legarda today calls on the government and the public for greater support and strengthening of culture-based livelihoods in the country.

Legarda, who was conferred the Dangal ng Haraya Award: Patron of Arts and Culture by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), has advocated for and initiated various programs for the promotion and preservation of Philippine Art and Culture. She says that “culture-based livelihoods do not only bring income to Filipino families but also preserve and protect the cultural heritage of the country.”

Legarda also points out, “We do not need to reinvent the wheel to ensure that our fellow Filipinos have livelihoods and other sources of income. Our country is rich in culture-based livelihoods such as handicrafts, pottery, weaving, and embroidery, and we strongly believe that these do not only deserve recognition but also development as they are part of our identity as Filipinos.”

The three-term Senator stresses that we need to empower our local communities and our 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,” Legarda says. “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 explains that support for culture-based livelihoods may come through the institutionalization of programs such as the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) Pangkabuhayan; Department of Trade and Industry’s Shared Service Facilities (DTI SSF); and the Department of Science and Technology’s Community Empowerment Thru Science and Technology (DOST CEST).

“Halimbawa nalang 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” says Legarda, the incumbent representative of the Lone District of Antique.


Nationalist People’s Coalition senatorial bet Loren Legarda, a patron of culture and environmental causes, is a moving force behind culture-based livelihood programs.

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 trainings and seminars or the provision of equipment and raw materials in partnership with the DTI.

Just 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, the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, and the Antique Hotels and Restaurants Organization.

Legarda has likewise been supporting local micro enterprises like the Bagtason Loom Weavers Association (BLWA) in Bugasong; the Malabor Abaca – Piña Weavers Association (MAPWA) and the Tibiao Active Weavers and Knotters Association (TAWKA) in Tibiao; the Pahinis Muscovado Sugar of Laua-an Multipurpose Cooperative (LMPC); the Sto. Rosario Multipurpose Cooperative in Pandan, and the Ati Bukidnon Tribal Organization in Libertad, among many others

Assistance was made possible with government programs that aim to improve their products and sustain their businesses.

“Nagawa po nating payabungin ang culture-based livelihoods sa Antique; naniniwala akong kayang-kaya din natin itong gawin sa buong Pilipinas,” Legarda confidently says. “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.”

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.

The three-term Senator also initiated the establishment of Schools of Living Tradition (SLT), which benefit 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.

The projects Legarda has spearheaded to protect and promote various cultural traditions include Hibla ng Lahing Filipino: The Artistry of Philippine Textiles and the Philippines’ first permanent textile gallery, and the Baybayin Gallery, the Philippines’ permanent ancient scripts gallery in the National Museum.

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 benefitted from her support And so have local artisans and communities through the Assistance for Artisans program of the NCCA.

Finally, Legarda also envisioned the Likha-an in Intramuros, a space and repository for Philippine traditional arts, and honored the Manlilikha ng Bayan (National Living Treasures) through the establishment of cultural centers and a permanent gallery at the National Museum of the Philippines.


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TAGS: Cebu Daily News, cebu news, culture-based livelihoods, DOLE, DOST CEST, DTI SSF, Elections 2022, Legarda, Loren Legarda, May 9 polls, Senator Loren Legarda

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