Saturday, May 16, 2009

the documented profile of Loren Legarda

Senator Loren Legarda is the only female senator who has topped the senate race twice, in 1998 with over 15 million votes and in 2007 with over 18 million votes. She is also the only woman to become majority leader.
Drawing from her vast experience as a journalist for 20 years and a decade as a public servant, Loren authored and sponsored vital pieces of legislation geared towards environmental protection, promotion of entrepreneurship, protection of the rights of women and children, overseas workers and domestic laborers, providing better health services to the public, social justice, national unity and inculcating the value of nationalism and love of country. Her dedication as a legislator brought forth the passage of many significant laws including the following: the Barangay Livelihood and Skills Training Act (RA 9509), the Magna Carta for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (RA 9501),the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act (RA 9262),the Philippine Ear Research Institute Act( RA 9245),the Philippine Tropical Fabric Law (RA 9242),the Anti-Child Labor Law (RA 9231),the Anti Trafficking in Persons Act (RA 9208),the Eid'l Fitr Holiday Law (RA 9177), and the Solid Waste Management Act (RA 9003), among many others.
In 1998, Loren founded Luntiang Pilipinas to promote public awareness on the environment and to enjoin multi-sectoral participation in addressing environmental problems. It has since established hundreds of forest parks with more than two million trees nationwide.
For her unfaltering crusade for the environment, Loren was given recognition in the year 2000 by the World Economic Forum, which named her one of the Global Leaders for Tomorrow. She was also awarded by the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) in 2001 at a UNEP Laureate. Loren's name has been included in the Global 500 Roll of Honor for being in the frontline of global environmental action. In 2004, she became an Awardee for the Environment by the Priyadarshni Academy in Mumbai, India.
Aware of the declining state of the Philippine environment and its harmful effects to the health and security of Filipinos, Loren delivered privilege speeches in the Senate, entitled "CPR For Mother Earth" and "An Agenda for Climate Change Adaptation" as part of her information campaign on environmental protection. Her speeches, converted into lectures, are now being distributed to public schools nationwide to stir the youth into action and contribute in caring for the environment. She likewise moved for the creation of the Senate Oversight Committee on Climate Change to help monitor and consolidate the government's efforts towards mitigating the adverse effects of climate change. These initiatives and her firm resolve to bring the issue of climate change and disaster risk reduction to the forefront of policymaking led to her appointment as United Nations Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation in the Asia Pacific.
Loren also established the Libro ni Loren Foundation, Inc. to help improve the literacy level in the country's poorest provinces.
She founded the Bessie Legarda Memorial Foundation, Inc. to provide medical assistance to indigent breast cancer victims and serve as support group to their families. She organized the Livelihood Opportunities to Raise Entrepreneurship Nationwide (LOREN) which provided capital for women entrepreneurs.
Loren also earned praise for her tireless effort in bringing warring factions to negotiate peace talks. She played a crucial role in the safe and expeditious release of military and police officers and men who were held captive by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) and fellow journalists who were held captive in Sulu. For her outstanding work for the cause of Muslims, Loren was bestowed the title of Bai a labi (Honorary Muslim Princess) by the Marawi Sultanate league.
As a journalist, Loren earned prestigious awards such as the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) from the Philippine Jaycees (1992), The Outstanding Women in the Nation's Service (TOWNS) Award (1993), and the Benigno Aquino Award for Journalism (1995) for her sterling record as a journalist for more than two decades.
An achiever all her life, Loren completed her primary and secondary schooling at the Assumption Convent with honors. She obtained a degree in broadcast communications and graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines. While working as a broadcast journalist, Loren pursued her post-graduate studies at the National Defense College of the Philippines where she obtained a degree in National Security Administration and graduated at the top of her class. Loren is now a reserve officer in the Armed Forces of the Philippines with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
She was born to a family of newsmen, educators, physicians and public servants. Her paternal great grandfather Potenciano Cabrera was the first Mayor of San Pablo City, Laguna while her maternal great granduncle Vicente Gella was a Governor of Antique. Kapitan Moy Guevara, her maternal great granduncle, was the founder of the shoe industry of Marikina. Her grandfather, Jose P. Bautista, was a pillar of Philippine journalism.
Today, Loren continues on her path of distinction and excellence. Now on her second term as senator, Loren chairs the Committee on Agriculture, the Congressional OversightCommittee on Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization, Committee on Health and Demography, and the Committee on Climate Change and the Oversight Committee on Climate Change.
Loren is the oldest and only girl in the family of three children of Antonio Cabrera Legarda and Bessie Gella Bautista. Loren is single with two sons.

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