Legarda: Magna Carta of the Poor Aims for Inclusive Growth

January 27, 2019

Senator Loren Legarda today said that the bill providing for a 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.

Legarda made the statement as the Senate approved on second reading Senate Bill No. 2121 or the Magna Carta of the Poor, which she principally authored.

“This measure seeks to alleviate poverty by ensuring that every Filipino rightfully receives the minimum basic needs that will enable him to participate in the country’s growth and development. We also want to strengthen convergence between the government and its basic sectors to fully make its services accessible to the poor,” she explained.

The Magna Carta of the Poor aims to prioritize programs that will ensure the full enjoyment and realization of the following rights: right to adequate food, right to decent work, right to relevant and quality education, right to adequate housing, and right to the highest attainable standard of health.

Once passed into law, it will 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.

“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,” Legarda concluded.