IN HER PURSUIT TO ALLEVIATE POVERTY THROUGH GENUINE AND PARTICIPATORY CONSULTATION, REELECTIONIST SENATOR LOREN LEGARDA BROUGHT “LOREN SA BAWAT BARANGAY” TO LUZON, VISAYAS, AND MINDANAO.
LOREN, which means Livelihood Opportunities to Raise Employment Nationwide, is a consultation with various sectors of society and concerned local government agencies, on how to create more employment and entrepreneurship opportunities through various related laws—the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) Act, the Magna Carta for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), the Barangay Kabuhayan Act, and the Agri-Agra Reform Credit Act, which were all authored by Legarda.
“Our laws will only be effective if they are implemented well and implementation includes information and education campaign. Not everyone is aware of these laws on livelihood and employment, and LOREN sa Bawat Barangay aims to inform our citizens that we have these laws that can help them get employed and have better income,” she explained.***
Through the PESO Law, job seekers, including new graduates, are given information on available employment opportunities and services in their city or municipality. PESO officers should also offer job seekers with employment opportunities that are matched with their skills.
The MSME Law provides more assistance to entrepreneurs by requiring lending institutions to allocate at least eight percent (8%) of their total loan portfolio to micro and small businesses. It also provides access to new technologies and regular entrepreneurship training programs for workers to ensure the viability and growth of MSMEs in the country.
The Barangay Kabuhayan Act requires the establishment of livelihood and skills training centers in 4th, 5th and 6th class municipalities for employment generation. It ensures that all livelihood and skills training centers offered by the national government are properly coordinated and implemented at the municipal level.
The Agri-Agra Reform Credit Act provides support to farmers and fisherfolk by requiring banks to allocate 25 percent of their loanable funds to the agriculture sector to finance the acquisition of equipment for farm production.
“This program aims to strengthen employment creation, facilitation, and enhancement, which must all be embedded as part of local governance,” Legarda concluded.