House passes Magna Carta for the Poor

Posted at 08/05/2014 6:15 PM | Updated as of 08/05/2014 6:15 PM

MANILA - The House of Representatives passed on third and final reading the Magna Carta for the Poor, which seeks to provide the poor with sustained opportunities for growth and development.

A total of 216 lawmakers approved House Bill 4629 on Tuesday.

The measure provides that the government should prioritize anti-poverty programs in order to allow the poor access to the country’s growth and development.

“The government shall also build an effective social protection system to ensure the protection of the poor from any risk or contingency, including social insurance, safety nets, social welfare, and labor market interventions, which are affordable and accessible,” the lower House said.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is also mandated to design and establish a single system of classification to be used for targeting beneficiaries of the government’s poverty alleviation programs and projects to ensure that such programs reach the intended beneficiaries.

A National Poverty Reduction Plan, which shall be drafted by all government agencies, shall be available within 100 days from the issuance of the rules and regulations of the Magna Carta.

The National Poverty Reduction Plan shall also consider all sectoral and local poverty reduction plans of each barangay, municipality, city and province.

The National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), with the technical assistance of NEDA, shall then be tasked to compile and harmonize these plans.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) will then review the NPRP for inclusion in the budget or expenditure plan.

The Magna Carta also provides that the funding for the programs shall be sourced from the existing appropriations under the General Appropriation Act of the different departments and agencies implementing these programs including the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) and Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD) Project of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and Socialized housing programs of the National Housing Authority, among others.