Legarda to tackle health, livelihood, environmental issues in Senate bid

Published October 7, 2021, 10:23 AM

by Manila Bulletin

House of Representatives Deputy Speaker and Antique Rep. Loren Legarda will be looking to address health, livelihood and environmental issues in her bid to run in the Senate in the national election next year.

Legarda, who was elected to the Senate in 1998, 2007 and 2013, said she is running for a lawmaking position in the upper chamber of Congress to focus on providing a pandemic recovery budget.

“We should institutionalize healthcare services up to the last mile up, up to the last barangay. So we should really upgrade the health services in provincial hospitals even if healthcare is devolve,” said Legarda in an interview in CNN Philippines’ The Final Word.

“The pandemic recovery is not just for the health care of Filipinos but also for the economic recovery of every Filipino family.” Legarda added that it could be done by allocating a budget for sufficient COVID-19 vaccines and boosters including shots for Filipinos 18 years old and below.

She added that the pandemic recovery is both a health issue and a jobs issue.

The Antique congresswoman said that the government’s existing livelihood programs should have an additional budget to help the poorest Filipino family.

“We must also be prepared to be able to help the poorest Filipino families who have been adversely affected by the pandemic to be able to rise,” Legarda said.

Regarding the country’s environmental issues, Legarda said that resources given to the dolomite beach in Manila Bay could have been placed elsewhere. The former three-term senator added that she agrees with the findings of the UP Marine Institute.

Legarda also said that local government officials should focus on addressing segregation of waste at source, recycling, and composting before any beautification or aesthetics is made.

The Antique solon said that revisiting the 1995 mining law should be done since it is quite old already. She added that we must ensure that local communities get their due and just share, and the rehabilitation fund is also implemented and done.

On the plan to build casinos in Boracay, Legarda said she is against this plan and she prefers to keep the island as a haven for nature and culture.

With regards to waste disposal issues during the COVID-19 pandemic, Legarda called on households to begin making solutions at their homes.

Legarda also said that she favors easier public access to the SALNs of the President, Vice-President and members of Congress. She, however, does not favor the reimposition of the death penalty for drug-related crimes. (Melvin Sarangay)