• House approves Magna Carta of the Poor

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    The House of Representatives has passed on third and final reading a measure seeking to uplift the standard of living and quality of life of the poor and provide them with sustained opportunities for growth and development.

    House Bill 4629, to be known as “An Act Providing for a Magna Carta of the Poor,” was unanimously approved by 216 lawmakers. It consolidated and substituted four measures authored by Reps. Raul Del Mar (1st District, Cebu City), Marcelino Teodoro (1st District, Marikina City), Erlinda Santiago (Part List, 1-SAGIP) and Ma. Victoria Sy-Alvarado (1st District, Bulacan).

    Rep. Salvio Fortuno, chairman of the House Committee on Poverty Alleviation, thanked lawmakers for their support to the bill, one of the measures approved a week after the opening of the 2nd regular session of the 16th Congress.

    The measure shall adopt an area-based, sectoral, and focused intervention to poverty alleviation where every poor Filipino family must be empowered to meet their minimum basic needs, through the partnership of the government and the basic sectors.

    It also encourages the private sector to be an active partner in the financing and implementation of poverty alleviation programs and projects.

    Under the measure, the government shall prioritize investments in anti-poverty programs to enable the poor to fully participate in the country’s growth and development. All departments, agencies and instrumentalities of the government shall provide full access of its services to the poor.

    The government shall also strengthen intervention to address the genuine concerns of the poor and shall institutionalize long-term strategies and solutions for the empowerment of the poor.

    The measure requires the government to establish a system of progressive implementation to provide the requirements, conditions, and opportunities for the full enjoyment of the rights of the poor which are essential requirements towards poverty alleviation such as the right to adequate food, the right to decent work, the right to adequate housing, and the right to the highest attainable standard of mental and physical health.

    The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) shall design and establish a single system of classification to be used for targeting beneficiaries of the government’s poverty alleviation programs and projects to ensure that such programs reach the intended beneficiaries.

    Within 100 days from the issuance of the rules and regulations, all government agencies shall formulate a comprehensive and convergent plan to set the thresholds to be achieved by government for each of the recognized rights of the poor called the “National Poverty Reduction Plan,” which shall consider all sectoral and local poverty reduction plans of each barangay, municipality, city and province.

    PNA

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