Why PNoy vetoed the Magna Carta for the Poor

Posted at 03/25/2013 10:08 PM | Updated as of 03/25/2013 10:08 PM

MANILA (UPDATED) - President Aquino said he vetoed the proposed Magna Carta for the Poor because its implementation could not be funded.

Aquino pointed to specific provisions of the bill that was due for his signature which he claimed would not have had any funding.

Aquino cited that the Philippines is a signatory to an international agreement that implements a staggered or progressive implementation of the rights of the poor.

"Signatory ang Pilipinas sa isang covenant called the International Covenant on Economic Culture and Social Rights….nakasaad sa covenant na ito, 'yung the poor have the right to several items. Ang importante doon may phrase na nakalagay 'progressive realization of the same'," he said.

Aquino said the proposed bill does not conform to this section of the international agreement: "May provision kasi doon sa nakasaad na batas na dito kami talaga naipit. Section 4, basic rights of the poor, dalawang paragraph ito: 'The poor shall have the following rights, the enjoyment of which is an essential step towards poverty alleviation: a) the right to food; b) the right to employment and livelihood; c) the right to quality education; d) the right to shelter; e) the right to basic health services and medicines. The government shall, as a matter of duty and obligation, provide the requirements, conditions, and opportunities for the full enjoyment of these rights of the poor and which the poor can demand as a matter of right'."

'Binola ko lang mga boss ko'

Aquino explained further, "nawala kasi 'yung 'progressive realization'. Ibig sabihin nito, itong mga karaparatan na ito iginagawad doon sa bawat mamamayan natin na living below the poverty threshold which is estimated to be 26 percent of the 95 million Filipinos...Kung nailagay lang sana 'yung 'progressive realization' which was in the covenant, wala tayong problema dito e. Pero 'pag pinirmahan natin sa batas, alam nating hindi magagawa ng gobyerno, binola ko 'yung mga boss ko, at hindi ko magagawa 'yon."

Aquino noted that funding the various projects that would be required to implement the bill was already beyond the country's budget this year.

"So kaya ba nating gawin ito? Ang budget natin for this year is roughly about...is about P2-trillion, 'di ba? On housing alone, 'di ba, parang right to shelter is demandable now, ibig sabihin, parang ibigay mo ngayon. Magkano 'yung shelter for five million social housing units? Hindi naman marangyang bahay ito e, social housing units. Ang gagastusin natin is P2.320-trillion."

Aquino said that housing alone would already eat into the general appropriatons.

"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."

Aquino further said, "So, sa madaling salita, pwede akong nagpa-cute. Pwede kong pinirmahan itong batas na 'to, pogi tayo, pero alam ko hindi mami-meet ng gobyerno. Made-demanda pa, kunwari, 'yung head ng NHA [National Housing Authority]: 'Bakit wala akong bahay?' 'Di ba, demandable."

Aquino said he did not want to resort to dilatory tactics or just score brownie points with the public.

"Maganda, pogi lahat ng kasali dito, pero bola. Hindi natin magagawa at dulo doon puro demanda. Pwede rin akong nag-delaying tactics dito, implementing rules and regulation, hanggang patapos ng term ko dina-draft, bahala na 'yung susunod na administrasyon, kawawa naman 'yung susunod na administrasyon."

Aquino said he has asked his Cabinet's social cluster to work on a new bill that the Palace can submit to the next Congress.