A champion of indigenous culture, Sen. Loren is the patron of the country’s first permanent textile gallery, the Hibla ng Lahing Filipino at the National Museum. She recently featured native weavers for National Arts Month this February. Among the langkit weavers invited were Saadira Basmala, Monawira Basmala and Salika Maguindanao from Marawi City, Lanao del Sur. The inaul weavers were Haja Normina Collie, Amelia Ades, Normina Odin and Sarika Pendatun from Sultan Kudarat. The weaving demonstration is part of the Lecture Series on Philippine Traditional Textiles and Indigenous Knowledge, which Loren and the National Museum initiated since 2012 to propagate indigenous knowledge.
A staunch environmentalist, she recently delivered a privilege speech about water security that stimulated a discourse among senators on the various problems and possible interventions to strengthen water security. USAID estimates that more than three million Filipino families still have no access to safe water supply; 337 municipalities in 10 poorest provinces are still waterless. Water also affects our food security as agriculture accounts for 70-85% of our water consumption. The World Resources Institute revealed that the Philippines will likely experience severe water shortage by 2040 due to the combined impact of rapid population growth and climate change. Furthermore, the Philippines ranks 57 out of 167 countries that are highly vulnerable to severe water shortage. All these issues will be discussed in a National Water Summit that will happen this year and we should all be concerned about it.
Sen. Loren says she believes that Pres. Duterte seriously and sincerely wants to do good for the country. “Marami siyang nagagawa like giving free education, free irrigation, free health care and billion pesos worth of infrastructure that generates lots of job, pero hindi ito ang nasusulat kundi yung mga negative lang. We should give him a chance.”