THE Italian government recognized the role of Senate President Pro Tempore Lorna Regina “Loren” Legarda in boosting bilateral relations between Italy and the Philippines.
The senator was conferred the Commendatore Order of Merit for her role in strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries.
The recognition was presented to Legarda by Italian Ambassador to the Philippines Marco Clemente on January 18 at the envoy’s residence.
“It is immensely an honor to receive the prestigious Order of Merit from the Italian Republic,” Legarda said as she accepted the award.
“I am extremely grateful to the Italian Republic, President Sergio Mattarella, to my good friend Pier Ferdinando Casini, and to His Excellency Marco Clemente and everyone else involved with this recognition,” she said.
Legarda added that the close partnership between the Philippines and Italy enabled the two countries to expand their ties.
She said that in 2015, the Philippines returned to the Venice Biennale after a 51-year hiatus through her initiative in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
“This is the best example of how cultural exchanges are not merely a way to showcase and promote culture,” Legarda said in a speech.
“Our participation in Venice has forged a deep relationship because each year we exchange ideas, we have meaningful discourses and we have new experiences together,” she said. “As such, I commit to supporting Philippine-Italian projects and programs, whether these be in the arts, culture, or trade and economy.”