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MARCH 14, 2013

NR # 3043

Solons urge President Aquino to sign into law the proposed Magna Carta of the Poor
Lawmakers do not doubt that President Aquino will sign into law the proposed Magna Carta of the Poor which will recognize the basic rights of the poor and marginalized Filipinos. The government must now take the side of the poor because the issue of poverty has become a critical question of survival. The state intervention is the only realistic route to take to uplift the poor while long term measures, strategies and solutions for poverty reduction are being put in place, said Rep. Rachel Marguerite Del Mar (1st District, Cebu City), principal author of the bill. Under the bill, Del Mar said all the existing funds of the different departments and agencies implementing pro-poor programs, the 20% of the share of the national government in the earnings of Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and the 50% of the share of the national government in all lotteries conducted by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) shall also be allotted for the program. Likewise, Del Mar said 50% of the share of the government in the proceeds from sale or disposition of sequestered assets, and the 50% of the proceeds from the sale or disposition by public auction of goods or articles forfeited in favor of the government by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) shall also be added to fund the program. The bill will institutionalize the basic rights of the poor, the right to food, the right to employment and livelihood, the right to quality education, the right to shelter, and the right to basic health services and medicines, Del Mar said. Del Mar said all government departments, agencies and instrumentalities must provide full access to government services for the poor. We can only have strong democratic institutions when such greater majority of the people are given the opportunities to participate in the benefits, growth and development of a democratic society, Del Mar said. Only when the poor are economically empowered will they be able to participate in the democratic process of setting national goals that affect their daily lives, said Rep. Rodante Marcoleta (Party-list, ALAGAD ), co-author of the bill. Under the bill, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) shall be

principally responsible for the efficient and rational allocation of available funding requirements as may be needed by the different agencies in implementing the proposed act. Any donation, contribution or grant which may be made to the programs shall be exempted from the donors tax and may be considered as allowable deduction from the gross income tax of the donor. The National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP), LGUs, the Civil Society Organization (CSOs) and Peoples Organization (POs), shall be formed into a consultative council to ensure the continuity and institutionalization of all the initiatives and programs of the government for the poor. Co-authors of the bill are Reps. Peter Sr. Pedro Unabia (1st District, Misamis Oriental), Ben Evardone (Lone District, Eastern Samar), Marcelino Teodoro (1st District, Marikina City), and Rep. Raymond Democrito Mendoza (Party-list, TUCP), the Chairman of the House Committee on Poverty Alleviation. (30) jc