Press Release
April 23, 2010

Legarda extends green jobs, scholarship and farming equipment
to the countryside

NP-NPC-LDP vice presidential bet Senator Loren Legarda extended green jobs, scholarships and farming equipment to rural provinces, in line with her advocacy to promote sustainable development in the countryside.

Through Senator Legarda's initiative, Php12 million worth of funds have been earmarked in the 2010 national budget to create green jobs. She has also initiated Php50 million worth of scholarship funds to benefit 3,900 scholars who are children of farmers, fishers and rural folk through the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

"Clean industries are among the new creators of wealth in the global economy. Countries around the world have even included developing clean technology and green industries as part of their stimulus package. We provided for another stimulus in our budget this year, and to promote our own green growth, we also funded the creation of green jobs," said Legarda, chair of the Senate Oversight Committee on Climate Change.

According to Legarda, providing education to children of farmers and fishers is a very effective way to raise the standard of living in the provinces. They can choose a course in agriculture, and that will really help in boosting their farm's productivity. Or they can take up other courses which can provide alternative sources of income for the family.

Aside from this, seven units of brine freezer have already been delivered in rural provinces around the country by the Department of Agriculture, also under Legarda's initiative. Twenty-three has been set for delivery this month.

According to Legarda, "providing brine freezers to fishers will help them climb up the food-processing ladder and will open up more markets to them, especially for exports. We are providing them with the "Liquid Quick Freeze machine" which adopts a revolutionary method of freezing agri-fishery products without causing cell wall rapture in the products. This will retain the texture and flavor of the frozen fish." Legarda has also instructed the Department of Agriculture to provide 4x4 tractors in favor of state universities and colleges that offer agricultural courses. "This will assist them in their research and development activities," said Legarda.

"Sixty percent of the poor in the Philippines hails from the provinces. As such, there is no better, more effective way to alleviate poverty than to advance rural livelihood. We've got to provide assistance to our farmers and fishers who grow and harvest our food," Legarda said.

"As vice-president, I will ensure that the laws I've passed in the Senate gets implemented. I think we have good laws that provide adequate social safetynets, but the problem has always been in its implementation," laments Legarda, who has expressed preference to head the Department of Agriculture.

"Of course I will leave that decision to our next president, I've headed various committees in the Senate and I've been more than competent in these positions. But should I be given a choice, I'd like to focus my expertise on agriculture. Agricultural development is the most effective way out of poverty for our country, and I would like to contribute my part in that."

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