THE House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading the Magna Carta of the Poor.
With 238 members voting in favor of the House Bill 5811, the measure was passed anew three years after it was vetoed by former President Benigno Aquino III.
HB 5811 contained nearly the same provisions of the version rejected by Aquino.
The measure is a consolidation of four different bills that included the original measure filed by Camarines Sur Rep. Salvio Fortuno and Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano.
The bill guarantees government prioritization of programs for the poor, including acknowledging their five fundamental rights: right of food, right of employment and livelihood; right to free relevant quality education; right to shelter and right to basic health services and medicines.
The bill defines poor families as those families or individuals whose income falls below the poverty threshold as defined by NEDA and/or cannot afford in a sustained manner to provide their minimum basic needs of food, health, education, housing and other essential amenities of life.
It also mandates government implementing agencies to accredit development partners that will be authorized to accept donations, aids, grants in cash or in kind from duly accredited sources to meet the demands of the basic rights of the poor.
President Aquino vetoed the Magna Carta of the Poor because the government would face financial constraints in executing the provisions of the law that proposes solutions to the poverty problems in the country.
HB 5811 addressed such concern by providing that funding to be used to implement poverty alleviation programs will be taken from existing anti-poverty appropriations of the different departments.