Senator Loren B. Legarda
Biography | Resume
For the past three decades, Senator Loren Legarda has dedicated her work to serve the Filipino people, primarily by promoting the sustainable and equitable use of our natural resources; advancing programs on building community resilience; advocating for social justice, human rights, peace and cultural diversity; and initiating measures for quality and accessible education, decent employment and livelihood opportunities.
A three-term Senator, Legarda is the only female who topped the Senate race twice, with more than 15 million and 18.4 million votes in 1998 and 2007, respectively. She is the only woman to become Senate majority leader.
Loren has authored and sponsored landmark laws such as: the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 (RA 9994); the Barangay Kabuhayan Act (RA 9509); the Magna Carta for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (RA 9501); the Agri-Agra Reform Credit Act (RA 10000); the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act (RA 9262); the Magna Carta of Women (RA 9710); the Anti-Child Labor Law (RA 9231); the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act (RA 9208) and its expanded version (RA 10364); the Philippine Ear Research Institute Act (RA 9245); the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention Act of 2009 (RA 9709); the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) Act of 2009 (RA 9711); the Philippine Tropical Fabric Law (RA 9242); the Eid’ul Fitr Holiday Law (RA 9177); the Tourism Act of 2009 (RA 9593); the Clean Air Act (RA 8749); the Environmental Awareness Education Act (RA 9512); the Renewable Energy Act (RA 9513); the Solid Waste Management Act (RA 9003); the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 (RA 10121); the Climate Change Act (RA 9729) and its amendatory law (RA 10174), which provides for the creation of the People’s Survival Fund, the Kasambahay Law (RA 10361), the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 (RA 10533) and the Universal Healthcare Act (RA 10606), among many vital pieces of legislation.
Game-changer for Asia
Amid the increasing risks of a warming world and a changing climate emerges Senator Legarda, a woman development leader from the Philippines.
She is a game-changer for Asia with a compelling vision of a safer and greener world for all.
Senator Legarda advocates for quality human living harmonious with nature by seeking the path for green growth and sustainable development for nations, and challenging world leaders to save our home planet and preserve humankind now.
As the Philippines’ foremost advocate of green development, Senator Legarda worked for the enactment of laws on environmental governance like the Clean Air Act, the Solid Waste Management Act, the Climate Change Act and the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act.
At her own initiative, Senator Legarda has spearheaded an information and education campaign on the science of climate change, its impact on our everyday lives and how Filipinos can avert and adapt to the changing climate. These short films include “Ulan sa Tag-Araw: Isang Dokyu-drama Ukol sa Pagbabago ng Klima” (Rains in the Summer: A Documentary Drama on Climate Change), children’s animation movie “Ligtas Likas”, “Buhos” (Downpour), “Philippine Marine Biodiversity”, and “Antique: Coral Restoration Program”.
Senator Legarda collaborated with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) in the documentary “Now is the Time”, which calls on leaders and decision-makers to strive for disaster-resilient development.
Through the greening program she founded, Luntiang Pilipinas (Green Philippines), which has planted two million trees in more than 500 hectares across the Philippines, Senator Legarda continues to enjoin the participation of stakeholders in pursuing this environmental advocacy.
For her contribution in protecting the environment and pushing for climate change adaptation policies, the University of the Philippines (UP) chose Senator Loren Legarda as its 2013 Distinguished Alumna for Environmental Protection and Climate Change Adaptation.
The world recognizes the inspiring leadership of Senator Legarda in the global campaign for good environmental governance. In 2000, the World Economic Forum held in Davos named her as one of the Global Leaders for Tomorrow.
Similarly, the United Nations has also acknowledged Senator Loren Legarda twice. In the year 2001, the United Nations Environment Programme conferred on her the title of UNEP Laureate and included her in the Global 500 Roll of Honor.
In 2008, the UNISDR appointed her as its Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaption for Asia and the Pacific during the 3rd Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in December 2008 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Along with her appointment as regional champion is the mission to convey an important message to world leaders.
A couple of months before her appointment as champion, in a seeming test of her parliamentary leadership, Senator Loren Legarda was asked by UNISDR to steer a meeting of parliamentarians in Manila on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. Leading parliamentarians from Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America came to the meeting in October 2008.
Through her able leadership, Loren successfully steered the meeting into a consensus dubbed as the Manila Call for Action by Parliamentarians which called on parliamentarians of the world to make disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation a national priority and a key consideration in development planning.
Senator Legarda, in her first official country mission as the Asia-Pacific Regional Champion in May 2009, addressed the Bhutan National Sensitization Workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction, encouraging delegates to incorporate disaster risk reduction as an integral part of their development concept of Gross National Happiness.
At the Second Session of the Global Platform on Disaster Reduction in Geneva in June 2009, Senator Legarda challenged world leaders with a call for a new brand of politics and governance - the kind that shepherds proactive laws and policies to address disaster risks. She reiterated this challenge at the 2009 Forum on the Human Impact of Climate Change and at the parliamentary meeting of the climate change conference in Copenhagen.
In July 2009, Senator Legarda led a UNISDR delegation that sealed an agreement between Maldives and UNISDR to define a comprehensive disaster risk reduction strategy for the island nation, and find means for the UN and other partners to help the country implement this strategy.
In November 2010, Senator Legarda convened the Consultative Meeting for Parliamentarians on Disaster Risk Reduction: An Instrument for Achieving the Millennium Development Goals towards a consensus to undertake concrete actions embodied in the Manila Call for Action 2010.
Senator Legarda, with the UNISDR, spearheaded international dialogues in Paris, Beijing, Geneva, Copenhagen and Hanoi. She is a member of the Global Advisory Group of Parliamentarians on Disaster Risk Reduction.
Senator Legarda’s journey on the international level, the prominent role she plays in the Asia-Pacific region, and her advocacy among world leaders and citizens of the Philippines and the region, are recounted in a book entitled Redefining Development: The Living Advocacy of Senator Loren Legarda, as she challenges everyone to promote responsible leadership, good governance and sustainable living.
In the realm of foreign relations, Senator Legarda, who was Chairperson of the Committee on Foreign Relations in the 15th Congress, sponsored the approval of 16 international agreements, deepening the Philippines’ bilateral relations with various countries and promoting the welfare of Filipinos in the country and abroad. These agreements are the RP-Japan Agreement on Technical Cooperation; the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court; the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture; the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Convention, Relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts; the Agreement between the Government of the Philippines and the International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management to Establish the Office of the WorldFish Center in the Philippines; the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) between the Philippines and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; the MLAT between the Philippines and the People's Republic of China; the Consular Agreement with the People's Republic of China; the Convention on Social Security between the Republic of the Philippines and the Kingdom of Spain; the Status of Visiting Forces Agreement Between the Philippines and Australia; the International Labour Organization Convention 189 (Convention Concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers); the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006; the Protocol Amending the Agreement between the Philippine Government and the French Republic for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income; two (2) treaties on the Avoidance of Double Taxation – the Philippines – Kuwait Tax Treaty and the Philippines- Qatar Tax Treaty and the Agreement between the Philippine Government and the UNESCO to establish the Southeast Asian Center for Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Development (SEA CLLSD) in the country.
On the occasion of the 2015 Paris Climate Summit (the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC) on 30 November 2015, Senator Legarda was appointed by the UNISDR as Global Champion for Resilience, with the distinguished role of providing leadership to build the resilience of nations and communities from disasters.
The French Government also recognized Senator Legarda’s commitment to the fight against climate change and to the promotion of culture and heritage. She was named Chevalier (Knight) in the Ordre national de la légion d’Honneur (National Order of the French Legion of Honor) for her invaluable contribution in strengthening the bilateral ties between Philippines and France.
Senator Legarda has also contributed to peace efforts. 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 journalists who were held captive in Sulu.
For her outstanding work for the cause of Muslims, she was bestowed the title of Bai a labi (Honorary Muslim Princess) by the Marawi Sultanate league.
Voice of the Indigenous Peoples
Fervently advocating for the protection of the rights of indigenous peoples and initiating efforts to libe