The Senate has approved on third and final reading the proposed Magna Carta of the Poor, said Senator Loren Legarda, principal author of the bill.
In a statement, Legarda said: “The Magna Carta of the Poor is a measure that promotes inclusive growth by ensuring that the poor are provided with basic services and support to allow them to be part of the country’s development.
“We also want to strengthen convergence between the government and its basic sectors to fully make its services accessible to the poor.”
Senate Bill 2121 seeks to provide the poor with full access to government services offered by its departments, agencies, and instrumentalities, maintain a system of free public education, and ensure equitable access to a system of good quality health care and protection, among others.
It will also protect the rights of the workers by ensuring compliance with core labor standards and prioritize the implementation of the socialized housing program.
“These basic services are already provided under various laws and funded through the General Appropriations Act. Our interventions in the national budget in the past years have made these services—such as free college education in state-run tertiary institutions, universal healthcare coverage, increased funding for social services, free irrigation for small farmers, and more livelihood opportunities—accessible to more Filpinos. However, there is a need to ensure that all poor Filipinos actually receive and benefit from these services,” said Legarda, who chairs the Senate Committee on Finance.
She added: “The Magna Carta of the Poor will adopt an area-based, sectoral, and focused intervention to poverty alleviation.
“It will institutionalize long-term strategies and solutions that will give the poor dignity and a better way of life.
“Most importantly, the poor will be empowered to become productive members of society and key players in the country’s overall growth and development.”