Senatorial candidate Loren Legarda vowed to continue promoting the Ilocos region if she returns to the Senate. The three-time senator has shown her love for Ilocos through the various projects she has spearheaded in her years in government.
Several of the projects that Legarda championed in the region include supporting the production of cotton in Pinili, Ilocos Norte through the establishment of different weaving and cotton processing centers. She has also been a supporter of the San Jose Multipurpose Cooperative in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte, and Rowilda’s Loomweaving from Vigan, Ilocos Sur which participated in the annual National Arts and Crafts Fair exhibition of the Department of Trade and Industry.
Because of her advocacy for the arts, Legarda was also able to help fund eight MSMEs and cooperatives to avail of the Assistance to Artisans under the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
Aside from the arts, Legarda also focused on the Ilocos region’s need for health by establishing a satellite Rural Health Unit with a birthing facility and provision of medical equipment in two hospitals — the Gen. Roque Ablan Sr. Memorial Hospital in Laoag City and the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center in Batac City.
She also helped in funding various infrastructure projects such as the Vigan Airport Development Project, the establishment of the Ylokos Province Theme Park, construction of water system facilities in public schools, and the repair of the Quirino Bridge in the municipality of Bantay.
Likewise, she allocated funds for DOLE TUPAD and Pangkabuhayan programs in both Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur which provide emergency employment and livelihood assistance to displaced workers, underemployed, and seasonal workers. With Legarda’s help, she was also able to allocate (Technical Education And Skills Development Authority) TESDA skills training programs and scholarships for employment and entrepreneurship in Ilocos.
Aside from Ilocos, Legarda also helped the people of La Union through the Don Mariano Marcos State University by providing equipment and supplies, improving the silkworm rearing houses, fabricating weaving looms, and the repair of the weaving house of the Sapilang Weavers’ Association.
The Ilocos region is close to Legarda’s heart. Her beloved yaya Felicidad Bagayas, whom she calls ‘Nanay Fely’ is an Ilocana and raised her along with her late mother Bessie. She credits Nanay Fely for her upbringing and who she has become today.
“Ang Nanay Fely kong taga Ilocos Norte ang nag-alaga sa akin mula nang ako’y ipinanganak. Ako ay inaruga at pinalaki ng isang Ilocana at nakuha ko po ang ilang pag-uugaling Ilocano,” she said.
She thanked Ilocos for the support saying: “I am very grateful to all Ilocanos. You have been earnestly supporting me since I started as an elected official in 1998 because you very well understand and appreciate the advocacies I work for. Now that I am seeking a Senatorial comeback, I am asking again for your full support.”
“I helped my home province, Antique, reach its “golden age” with the help of my constituents. As I seek another seat at the Senate, I will ensure that this golden age—with your support—will also done and benefit all the cities and municipalities in our country, especially the Ilocos Region, which has always had a special place in my heart.”