Senator Cynthia Villar has filed her certificate of candidacy (COC) at the Commission on Elections main office in Manila for reelection as senator.
Villar was accompanied by husband former Senate President Manny Villar and daughter, Camille, and son Paolo. The seasoned legislator is seeking her second term as senator under the banner of the Nacionalista Party, where she sits as the national director.
“We were able to make great strides in our mission to improve the quality of life of the farmers, our food producers, who are among our country’s poorest sector. We hope to be able to continue this work and help more of our people,” the veteran lawmaker said.
The lady senator who chairs the Agriculture and Food and the Environment and Natural Resources committees, is among the frontrunners in pre-election surveys for Senate bets.
As senator, Villar was principal sponsor and author of a number of agriculture-related laws including Republic Act (RA) 10659 or the Sugar Industry Development Law; RA 10654 or the law to prevent, deter, and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUUF) fishing; RA 10848 or the law extending the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund; RA 10816 or the Farm Tourism Development Law; RA 10817 or the Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Law, and RA 10969 or the Free Irrigation Service Act.
She led investigations into cartels that control the supplies of garlic, onion and rice and authored RA 10845 or the law declaring large-scale agricultural smuggling as economic sabotage.
Villar also sponsored the rice tariffication bill and the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Act, which will create the coconut levy trust fund.
When she was chairperson of the Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises, she fought for the scrapping of a memorandum that require overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to pay airport terminal fees.
Villar fought for the scrapping of a memorandum requiring overseas Filipino workers to pay terminal fees. She also sponsored the bill extending the validity of Philippine passports to 10 years.
Villar also sponsored the bill extending the validity of Philippine passports to 10 years. Among the first bills she filed was a measure creating a dedicated department for OFWs, the Department of Migration and Development.
In the environment front, she was instrumental in the enactment of RA 11038 or the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System Act. She has also pushed 13 government agencies to comply with a Supreme Court order to clean and rehabilitate Manila Bay.
Outside the Senate, Villar holds regular clean up and tree-planting activities at the Ramsar Site Las Pinas-Paranaque Wetland Park and have initiated programs to stop open defecation in Manila’s Baseco area.
She is also a strong advocate of recycling and continues to donate school chairs made of recycled plastic to various public schools in the country. Her Las Pinas-Zapote River rehabilitation project continues to provide livelihood opportunities to many.
Villar also established two farm schools in Bacoor, Cavite and in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan and provided free agriculture-related trainings to farmers.
According to Villar, if elected to another Senate term, she will continue to prioritize legislative measures that address factors that inhibit a Filipino farmer’s competitiveness such as the lack of technical expertise, lack of mechanization, lack of financial literacy, and lack of access to cheap credit. Villar added that she will also push for bills on urban agriculture, crop insurance, development of the livestock industry and sustainable agriculture.
Villar said she will continue to prioritize legislative measures in the Senate to address the factors that inhibit a Filipino farmer’s competitiveness. She will also push for bills on urban agriculture, crop insurance, development of the livestock industry and sustainable agriculture.
Villar was elected senator in 2013. Prior to this, she served three terms as representative of Las Pinas.