Press Release
May 2, 2010

Loren unveils plan for job creation in the countryside

NP-NPC-LDP Vice Presidential candidate Senator Loren Legarda today unveiled her plan to create more jobs in the countryside by stepping up investments in agriculture and the effective implementation of the laws she has authored as senator.

"To achieve true progress in the country, we have to make sure that no one is left behind. Inequality is at its worst in the provinces, where ironically, the growers of our food, our farmers and fishers, are the first to grow hungry. That's why the first step in eradicating poverty must be taken in the rural areas," said Loren.

Loren urged for more investments in agriculture, which she intends to execute once she becomes vice president. "My game plan is to open up more markets, provide more access to credit, and extend to our farmers and fisherfolk adequate technical and financial support."

Loren stressed the importance of equipping farmers and fishers with skills in adapting to climate change. "Our farmers and fishers are among the most vulnerable to climate change, because their livelihood is directly affected by extreme weather changes. Floods and drought both damage crops and diminish fish catch," Loren said.

She also emphasized the need to provide alternative sources income and social safetynets for rural folk, through the implementation of the laws she has authored in the Senate.

"We already have the Amendment to the Agri Agra Law which provides more loanable funds to farmers; we have the Barangay Kabuhayan Act which establishes livelihood and skills training centers in the fourth, fifth and sixth class municipalities to open employment opportunities; and we have the the Magna Carta for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Act which strengthens the small and medium enterprises. I have authored these laws to raise the quality of life of every Filipino, and I now intend to make sure that they get implemented properly," Loren said.

Agriculture and rural development are issues close to 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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