Villar aims to nip poverty in the bud via job creation, livelihood generation

Senatorial aspirant Cynthia Villar, former Las Piñas Representative, reveals some of the priority bills that she would pursue in the Senate. Popularly known as ‘Misis Hanep Buhay’, Villar is strongly pushing for the creation of more jobs and livelihood to Filipinos, particularly among the impoverished.

Villar continues to actively promote the barangay-based livelihood centers that she has successfully established in Las Piñas that now benefit more than 500 families inthe city and is being duplicated in various provinces all over the country. A total of 111 pilot centers have been established nationwide.

The success of Villar’s green social enterprises has earned for her the moniker ‘Misis Hanep Buhay’. The livelihood projects include: water hyacinth basket weaving, coconet weaving, plastic pulverizing, organic composting, handloom blanket weaving, and recently citronella oil-making have been duplicated nationwide.

“There are 1,600 municipalities and cities in the Philippines, so we still have a lot of tasks ahead of us. I will continue promoting these livelihood programs because the benefits they provide to the people, especially the poor, are direct and fast. They do not need capital also because the raw materials are from wastes and our foundation provides the training and technology,” said Villar.

According to Villar, her livelihood programs create jobs and help ease the unemployment problems in the country. Villar, as a congresswoman from 2001 to 2010, also authored legislation that promotes entrepreneurship. Among which is the Republic Act 9178 or the Barangay Micro-Business Enterprises (BMBEs) Act of 2002.

“I support entrepreneurship as the key to creating jobs. Even my livelihood programs are geared towards helping people gain the skills to start their own small businesses. I will also pursue legislation that will help micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and give government incentives to manufacturing and other industries that create jobs for our countrymen,” said Villar.

Misis Cynthia Villar receives 2013 Go Negosyo's Filipina Entrepreneur Awards from Joey Concepcion, Senator Miriam Santiago and Ramon Lopez

As an entrepreneur herself, like husband Senator Manny Villar, she was awarded by Go Negosyo among the ‘The Women Entrepreneur Icons and Filipina Entrepreneurs of 2013’. Go Negosyo cited in a statement: “From being a college professor and an entrepreneur, Cynthia Villar diverted her focus to social entrepreneurship through the Villar Foundation in 1992. The organization has helped thousands of families—from the OFWs to the mothers living in the poor communities, by teaching them an alternative and
sustainable means of livelihood.”

In line with focusing on impoverished Filipinos—70 percent of whom she cites is in the agriculture sector, Villar will also push for the review of Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act (AFMA).

“Our farmers and fishermen need adequate backing in legislation. Their
requirements are still the same but still unmet until now, such as efficient and modern post-harvest facilities and irrigation systems. When all is said and done, the Philippines is still an agricultural country,” said Villar.

Villar will also pursue the creation of a separate department for Filipino migrant workers—the Department of Overseas Filipino Workers (DOFW). “The separate department for OFWs will centralize all the services and functions of OFW-related government agencies or bureaus. This will make accountability clearer and services more efficient that will hopefully lower the number of distressed OFWs,” she cited.

Villar will also continue her legislative agenda and advocacies during her nine year stint as a congresswoman, from 2001 to 2010, when she supported and passed billsfor women, children, senior citizens and students or the youth.

As chairperson of the House Committee on Higher & Technical Education from
2004 to 2010, Villar authored and led the passage of 28 bills on higher or technical education to improve the quality and accessibility of education nationwide by putting in place advanced systems of education such as ladderized approach, distance-learning and open-university system.

As president of the Lady Legislators of the House of Representatives during the 12th, 13th & 14th Congress, Villar rallied the passage of landmark bills upholding the welfare of women, children and families. These include the Magna Carta of Women, anti- trafficking of women and children; anti-violence against women; protection of children in the workplace; juvenile justice system; the two versions of the Senior Citizens Act (2003 and 2010) among many others.

During Villar’s term as chairperson of the Congressional Spouses Foundation
from 1998 to 2000, she led the building of 11 regional centers for women who were victims of abuse.

According to her, women are catalysts and helping them has a multiplier effect to the society and the economy. “When we educate women, we educate a generation. When we provide women jobs, we provide livelihood to a family,” cites Villar. Misis Hanep Buhay indeed knows best when it comes to women, family and livelihood.
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  1. Nakakahanga na yung pinapakitang tulong ni mrs. villar. ag dami na talaga niyang nabigyan ng trabaho.

  2. How can the government of the Philippines eliminate or lessen poverty rate if the country is not even prepared for typhoon like Hayain or less stronger than Hayain that keeps on destroying the properties of the people?