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Cynthia Villar gets human rights award

THE United Nations Association of the Philippines (UNAP) has recognized Sen. Cynthia Villar with the prestigious Human Rights Award for her outstanding efforts in eradicating poverty and promoting environmental well-being.

Villar received the award on Tuesday, March 26.

She was acknowledged for the promotion of Sustainable Development Goal 1 (Poverty Eradication) and SDG Goal 16 (Biodiversity).

The veteran lawmaker heads the Senate Committees on Agriculture, Food and Agrarian Reform and the Environment and Natural Resources.

In her acceptance speech, Villar thanked the UNAP Board of Trustees for recognizing her efforts in poverty eradication and biodiversity.

«Let me tell you about my journey toward achieving these SDG goals: With my husband Manny, we established in 1992 the Villar Foundation, which is a nonstock, nonprofit organization to create sustainable livelihood, protect the environment and help OFWs. Its various programs for OFWs include the yearly OFW & Family Summit; environment protection, including the establishment of the Las Piñas- Parañaque Wetland Park; free agricultural training in four farm schools in Las Piñas Bacoor for NCR, Southern Luzon and Bicol, San Jose del Monte City in Bulacan, for Central and Northern Luzon and the Cordilleras; San Miguel, Iloilo for the Visayas and Davao City for Mindanao and the establishment of livelihood projects in over 3,000 locations nationwide,» she said.

In 2002, she said their foundation started the Sagip-Ilog Program to save the Las Piñas and Zapote Rivers from environmental degradation.


«We adopted a holistic approach, starting with educating people about proper waste management. The riverbanks underwent re-greening activities and tree planting to prevent future soil erosion. We created green social enterprises… Women made arts and crafts from the water lily harvested, coconut and pit from waste coconut husks, composts were produced from kitchen and garden wastes and were given for free to garden enthusiasts and farmers, plastic chairs from plastic waste were given free to the public, and farm schools,» Villar said.

She received the coveted UN Water for Life Award in Zaragosa, Spain, during a