Sen. Cynthia Villar was awarded an honorary doctorate by the country’s premiere school in agricultural studies during the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) 46th Commencement Exercises held at D.L. Umali Freedom Park, UPLB.
Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committees on Agriculture and Food and on Environment and Natural Resources, was recognized by the UP Board of Regents for her achievements in the fields of agricultural development, poverty alleviation, education and upholding the welfare of women and children.
Dr. Fernando Sanchez, Chancellor of UPLB, said Villar is being recognized “for her commitment to public service and dedication to the welfare of the Filipino people.”
The conferment of the honorary degree upon Villar was witnessed by her husband, former Senate President Manny Villar, and children— Paolo, Vista Land Chief Executive Officer; Mark, Secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways; and Camille, All Home Store President.
Villar, when she was elected Representative of Las Pinas, was chairperson of the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education and led the passage of 28 bills promoting high quality education.
As a senator, she authored the Open Learning and Distance Education Act of 2014 and the Ladderized Education Act of 2014. She also pushed for the enactment of Republic Act 10931 or the law granting free college education in all state universities and colleges, local tertiary schools and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)-accredited institutions.
Villar’s work through the Villar Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance which provided livelihood opportunities to farmers and fisherfolks, provided assistance to migrant workers and their families, and promotes rehabilitation of coastal communities was also among the achievements cited by the university.
Villar was also recipient of a number of honorary degrees including the Doctor of Philosophy in Rural Development from the University of Southern Mindanao, and Doctor of Humanities from Bataan Peninsula State University and Tarlac Agricultural University.
She was also conferred the degree of Doctor of Laws from the Philippine Women’s University in recognition of her contribution in poverty alleviation, women’s rights, good governance, environmental issues and varied humanitarian undertakings. Last year, Villar was recognized as Most Distinguished Alumna by the University of the Philippines.