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Magna Carta signing is ‘icing on the cake’

June 01, 2019 - Saturday 4:06 AM by Erwin Tulfo

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The revolting scandal in the delay in passing this year’s national budget might have overshadowed the accomplishments of the 17th Congress altogether.

Thanks to President Duterte’s decision to sign into law the General Appropriations Act, but not after he vetoed items that slashed P95 billion in “pork barrel” funds, the cause of shameless bickering among the lawmakers and delayed the P3.7 trillion national budget for over four months.

One might say the enactment of the Magna Carta for the Poor (RA 11291) is the saving grace in the wake of the national budget blunder that made Congress deservingly look bad.

Other notable legislations passed by the outgoing Congress are: Free Tertiary Education (RA 10931), Universal Health Care (RA 11223) and Institutionalizing the 4Ps (RA11310), among others.

The enactment of the Magna Carta for the Poor recently surprised not quite a few people not only because it’s long overdue. It was proposed way back in 2015 but elitist Noynoy Aquino, who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, simply found the proposed law nauseating and refused to sign it then.

But this time President Duterte signed into law the combined versions of the Magna Carta for the Poor in the Senate and the House sponsored, respectively by jailbird Senator Leila De Lima and hotel mutineer Magdalo Party-list Rep. Gary Alejano, among Manong Digong's most rabid critics.

It dramatically shows the President’s statesmanship and sincerity in his advocacy for the rights and welfare of the less fortunate Filipinos, shackled in poverty all their life. Manong Digong places importance on the people’s interest than partisan politics.

The Magna Carta guarantees the poor unconditional access to public services and provides for establishing the system to ensure: Adequate food, decent work, relevant and quality education, adequate housing, and the highest attainable standard of health.  

The Magna Carta for the Poor is more meaningful now against the backdrop of the country’s surging economy, improved credit standing, pouring foreign investment, dropping unemployment, easing inflation, and massive development and infrastructure, stronger diplomatic ties, and improved peace and order.

For the past three years, Manong Digong and his Cabinet have risen to the occasion to the cries for social justice and fulfill this leadership’s mandate as reaffirmed overwhelmingly last May 13 national elections.

The Magna Carta is certainly the longtime-coming icing on the cake!