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NO ONE LEFT BEHIND: Magna Carta to firm up 5-year bid vs poverty

June 13, 2019 - Thursday 4:06 AM by Jimmy Laking

Article Banner Image COMING HOME. A family enters their shanty in Isla Verde, Davao City. The signing of the Magna Carta of the Poor by President Duterte is expected to strengthen government’s to reduce poverty from 21.6 percent to 14 percent by 2022. ARJOY M. CENIZA

DAVAO CITY -- The signing of Republic Act 11291 or the Magna Carta of the Poor by President Duterte is expected to strengthen the five-year Philippine Development plan that seeks to reduce poverty from 21.6 percent to 14 percent by 2022.

“This law shows President Duterte’s heart for the poor,” National  Anti-Poverty Commission Secretary Noel Felongco said.

The law was actually passed by the House of Representatives in 2013 but then-President Aquino thumbed it down “as it was an added burden to the government,” Felongco said.

He said with the signing of the law, the government can now proceed in a progressive manner  in its task of reducing poverty in the affected provinces.

Mindanao has several provinces where poverty incidence are among the highest in the country.

Felongco said the NAPC will take the lead role in the crafting of the new law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR).

He said to achieve this, NAPC will be conducting consultations with stakeholders and various sectors to be able to formulate the IRR in six months.

The law classifies the poor as those who income fall below the poverty threshold (as defined by the National Economic and Development Authority) as well as those who cannot afford their minimum basic needs of food, health, education, and housing.

The new law requires departments and agencies of the government to provide full access to the poor in availing themselves of government services.

Felongco emphasized the fundamental rights of the poor, including the right to relevant and quality education; right to affordable housing; right to health; and right to decent work.

The law also brings together the resources of concerned government agencies as well as local government units in addressing poverty using the whole-of nation approach.

Playing pivotal roles under this approach are the Department of Agriculture (DA),  National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE),  Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).

The NAPC as the coordinating and monitoring agency.

“In effect, the law harmonizes the national poverty reduction plan so that by year 2040, we shall have achieved a progressive and middle class society,” Felongco said.

“By then, none will be left behind,” he added.

Felongco has ranked the war on poverty as the hardest that the Duterte administration has had to wage.

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