Senator Loren Legarda


Four-term Senator Loren Legarda has many legislative accomplishments to improve the lives of Filipinos, particularly in the areas of environmental protection, climate change mitigation, cultural preservation, and other measures aimed at promoting inclusive and sustainable development.

A public servant of more than two decades, Legarda is also notable for being the only female to top two senatorial elections, in 1998 and in 2007. Additionally, she holds the distinction of being the only female Majority Leader to have served in the Philippine Senate.

She is currently the Senate President Pro Tempore; Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Culture and Arts; Chairperson of the Senate Special Oversight Committee on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP); Chairperson of the Senate Panel to the Philippine Congress - Bangsamoro Parliament Forum; and Chairperson of the Special Committee on the Rehabilitation of the Manila Central Post Office.

She served as a member of the House of Representatives of the Philippines, representing the Lone District of the Province of Antique, and notably the sole Antiqueña who served as Deputy Speaker of the House.

Prior to being the youngest elected Senator in 1998, she was a respected and multiaward-winning broadcast journalist with over 30 industry awards. These include the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) Award in 1992, The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS) Award in 1995, and the Benigno Aquino Award for Journalism in 1995, among others.

A staunch advocate of climate change and environmental awareness

Legarda has been a steadfast champion for environmental protection and has played a significant role in advocating climate change awareness and action in the Philippines. She has authored and sponsored numerous landmark environmental and climate change laws and international agreements such as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, the Clean Air Act, the Climate Change Act, the People’s Survival Fund Act, the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, Green Jobs Act, the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System Act, Doha Amendment to Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement, among many others.

Her inspiring advocacy for environmental protection has earned her global recognition. She has been recognized as a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum, a UNEP Laureate, and an ASEAN Biodiversity Hero. She is also currently the UNDRR Global Champion for Resilience, the UNFCCC National Adaptation Plan Champion, a Commissioner of the Global Commission on Adaptation, the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) Ambassador for Parliaments, the Women Political Leaders Global Ambassador for Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Change and Environment, and a member of the UNITE Global Parliamentarians Network to End Infectious Diseases.

A champion for the promotion of Philippine culture and the arts

Recognizing the importance of safeguarding the country’s rich cultural heritage in nation-building, she has been instrumental in the passage of significant pieces of legislation aimed at promoting, preserving, and restoring the cultural properties, sites, and intangible heritage of the country and indigenous communities. These landmark laws include the National Museum of the Philippines Act, the National Cultural Heritage Act, the Gabaldon School Buildings Conservation Act, and the National Indigenous Peoples Day. Legarda also spearheaded the National Cultural Mapping Project which she actively pushed to be institutionalized through Republic Act No. 11961 or An Act Strengthening the Conservation and Protection of Philippine Cultural Heritage through Cultural Mapping and an Enhanced Cultural Heritage Education Program, amending for the Purpose Republic Act No. 10066, otherwise known as the “National Cultural Heritage Act Of 2009,” through an Enhanced Cultural Policy and Cultural Mapping Program.

Legarda, the indigenous arts and culture advocate, initiated the establishment of the first permanent textile gallery in the country, the “Hibla ng Lahing Filipino: The Artistry of Philippine Textiles,” at the National Museum of the Philippines. This textile gallery was later showcased around different parts of the world through a traveling exhibition as envisioned by Legarda in pursuit of fostering a deeper appreciation of Philippine heritage and promoting greater support for cultural enterprises and creative industries of our indigenous peoples.

In appreciation for her lifelong advocacy to protect and preserve our culture, heritage, and the arts, Legarda was conferred the Dangal ng Haraya by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. Many indigenous peoples groups likewise bestowed titles upon her for advocating the rights and welfare of the Indigenous Peoples: Bai a Labi by the Marawi Sultanate League, Tukwifi by the Cordillera Indigenous Elected Women Leaders’ League which means ‘bright star’; Cuyong Adlaw Dulpa-an Labaw sa Kadunggan by the Panay Bukidnon from Visayas, which translates to ‘shining sun rising in power’; and, Bae Matumpis by the cultural communities of Mindanao, which means ‘the one who takes care’.

An advocate for strengthening bilateral relations between nations

As a Senator, Legarda actively engaged and participated in various parliamentary exchanges, bilateral forums, and meetings with representatives from other nations. She also sponsored numerous treaties and international agreements such as the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), International Labour Convention (ILO) 189, Agreement between the Government of the Philippines and the Government of Australia concerning the Status of Visiting Forces of the other State (SOVFA), Doha Amendment to Kyoto Protocol, Paris Agreement, mutual legal assistance treaties with the UK and China, and free trade agreements such as the Free Trade Agreement between the Philippines and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), among others.

During the First Regular Session of the 19th Congress, Legarda was one of the speakers in the Special Sessions of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia’s premier annual security and defense summit held in Singapore that brings together defense ministers, military officials, and experts from various countries to discuss security challenges and regional cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.

Through her efforts to strengthen bilateral relations with other countries, Legarda was bestowed with the title of Knight in the French National Order of the Legion of Honor, Knight in the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, the Commendatore to the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, and the Award of Distinction by the European Union.

An Iskolar ng Bayan and a Military Reservist

A cum laude graduate of the University of the Philippines, the National Defense College of the Philippines top-notcher, and graduate of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Command and General Staff College, Legarda is a reserve officer of the Philippine Air Force with the rank of full colonel. She was also conferred the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, by the University of the Philippines.

back to top

19th Congress Senators