Press Release
December 17, 2012

Magna Carta of the poor approved

The Senate has approved on third and final reading a bill which seeks to protect the rights of the poor by ensuring them equal access to basic rights and basic government services.

Senate Billl 3309, also known as the Magna Carta of the Poor, was introduced by Senate President Pro-Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito-Estrada and Senators Sonny Trillanes and Pia Cayetano.

"The Magna Carta of the Poor is a significant piece of legislation which seeks to ensure that no Filipino would be denied his or her basic rights and basic government services, and that no Filipino should be denied the opportunity to improve his or her station in life through education and employment, merely on the basis of his or her social standing," Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, chairman of the Committee on Social Justice and sponsor of the proposed measure, explained.

Once passed into law, Pangilinan said, the State will ensure the protection of five basic rights of every Filipino, namely, the right to food, employment, quality education, shelter and basic health services and medicines. "This measure seeks to ensure that pro-poor policies and programs will continue to be in place even after this administration's term is over," Pangilinan said, adding:

"More importantly, that resources will continue to be allocated for anti-poverty alleviation programs. Our people are our greatest resource and we believe that investing in our people, ensuring that they will become productive and progressive members of the society will ultimately lead to the realization of our shared goals for a progressive and prosperous nation."

According to Pangilinanan, 27 percent of Filipinos live in poverty without access to food and shelter, employment, education and health care.

He said farmers and fisherfolk are the most affected with 37 percent and 35 percent respectively living in poverty. Pangilinan said 32 percent of our farmers and fisherfolk cannot even fend for themselves.

"As elected representatives of the people and as officials of government, we find it unacceptable that large segments of our population continue to live without their basic needs. WE have to ensure that the rights of these marginalized groups are upheld and protected," Pangilinan said. (PILAR MACROHON, PRIB)

News Latest News Feed