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President Aquino orders Social Cabinet Cluster to ‘draw up a substitute measure’ that Congress may use to pass Magna Carta for the Poor

Posted On 2013 Mar 25
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President Benigno S. Aquino III lowers the time capsule during the groundbreaking ceremony for the Mindanao Garden of Peace in commemoration of the 45th Year of the Jabidah Massacre at the Corregidor Island in Cavite on Monday (March 18). In photo is Secretary to the Cabinet Jose Rene Almendras. (MNS photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III lowers the time capsule during the groundbreaking ceremony for the Mindanao Garden of Peace in commemoration of the 45th Year of the Jabidah Massacre at the Corregidor Island in Cavite on Monday (March 18). In photo is Secretary to the Cabinet Jose Rene Almendras. (MNS photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III has directed the Social Cabinet Cluster (Human Development and Poverty Alleviation) to draw up a “substitute measure” that will be submitted to Congress which it may use as reference towards drafting a Magna Carta for the Poor.

In an interview after keynoting the 5th Anniversary of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines in Pasay City on Monday, the President said he wanted a substitute measure formed after he vetoed a previously drafted Charter for the Poor citing the improbability of the government meeting its demands.

Under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), a multilateral treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 16, 1966, the Philippines, as a signatory, joins 160 other countries in committing to work towards the granting of economic, social, and cultural rights (ESCR) to individuals, including labor rights and the right to health, the right to education, and the right to an adequate standard of living.

The President cited Section 4 of the ICESCR which gave the poor the right to immediately demand “the enjoyment of which is an essential step towards poverty alleviation: a) the right of food; b) the right to employment and livelihood; c) the right to quality education; d) the right to shelter; and e) the right to basic health services and medicine.”

He noted as an example the provision of providing shelter which he said is around five million social housing units that will cost P2.320-trillion which is the entire budget for this year of about P2-trillion.

“So, ang buod niyan, isa pa lang doon sa limang karapatan hindi na kayang punuin ng budget. Ngayon, ‘yung budget natin… ang pwede lang i-program off the P2-trillion is roughly about P600-billion. Wala pa ‘yung right to food, wala pa ‘yung right to work, wala pa ‘yung right to health, wala pa ‘yung right to education,” the President said.

“So, ang corrective action natin dito, dinirect (direct) natin ang social cluster to draw up a substitute measure that we will give to the next Congress and, hopefully, that they will act upon with haste,” he added.

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