House approves Magna Carta for the poor
MANILA, Philippines - The House of Representatives recently approved on final reading a bill that aims to provide poor families and individuals with "sustained opportunities for growth and development."
Dubbed the "Magna Carta for the Poor," House Bill 4484 seeks to provide for the creation of employment and livelihood opportunities to help the poor meet their minimum basic needs.
It is principally authored by Representatives Rachel Marguerite del Mar (Cebu City), Ben Evardone (Eastern Samar), Marcelino Teodoro (Marikina City), Rodante Marcoleta (Alagad party-list) and Peter Unabia (Misamis Oriental).
Evardone explained that the bill will “ensure consistency” in social programs introduced by the government and "institutionalize all social services of the government."
"Every administration has its own social programs," Evardone explained in a text message. "More often than not, social programs of the administration are normally discontinued if there is a new administration,” he said.
The poor, as defined in the bill, are those families or individuals
- whose income falls below the poverty threshold as defined by the National Economic and Development Authority; and
- who are identified as such by the National Anti-Poverty Commission with the participation of the basic sectors and local government units.
The bill also tasks government implementing agencies to accredit development partners like non-government organizations, people's organizations and private corporations, which shall also be authorized to accept donations, aids or grants, in cash or in kind from duly accredited sources, to meet the demands of the basic rights of the poor.
Any donation which may be made to the sponsored program shall be exempt from the donor's tax and the same shall be considered as allowable deduction from the gross income in the computation of the income tax of the donor.
Following final approval by the House of Representatives, the bill is then forwarded to the Senate for its own deliberations.
Once similarly approved by the Senate on third and final reading, the measure may need to go through bicameral conference committee deliberations in cases there are conflicting or provisions that are not common to both versions (House & Senate). After the output of the bicameral body has been approved by both House of Congress, the bill is then forwarded to the President for him to sign into law. - Rappler.com