Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima is elated over the recent signing of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 11291 or the Magna Carta of the Poor Act which champions the cause of the underprivileged by ensuring their full access to basic services.
De Lima, the principal sponsor and author of the Magna Carta of the Poor bill in the Senate, said the signing of the IRR of RA No. 11291 is a victory for all the supporters of the law and those who will benefit from it.
“Roughly two years since the Magna Carta of the Poor was signed into law, its IRR was finally signed last Aug. 21, which could be a game-changer in our country’s fight against worsening poverty, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.
“Ngayong napirmahan na, sa wakas, ang IRR ng Magna Carta of the Poor Act, lubos ang ating pagpapasalamat dahil uusad nang muli ang pinagsikapan nating batas para tiyakin ang nararapat na serbisyo para sa mga kapuspalad, na higit na pinabigat ang problema ng pandemya: para sa sapat na pagkain, pabahay, trabaho, edukasyon at kalusugan,” she added.
RA No. 11291, which was signed into law last April 12, 2019, guarantees the rights of the poor to adequate food, decent work, relevant and quality education, housing, and the highest attainable standard of mental and physical health.
Under the law, the government is mandated to establish a system of progressive realization or implementation to provide the requirements, conditions, and opportunities for the full enjoyment of the fundamental rights of the poor.
Prior to the signing of IRR, De Lima sent a letter to Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea dated Jan. 25, 2021, wherein she asked for his office’s support for the immediate promulgation of the rules of RA No. 11291, stressing its urgency amid rising prices of basic commodities, mass layoffs and business shutdowns.
“This is to respectfully persuade your good office to extend your support for the immediate promulgation of the Implementing Rules and Regulation of RA No. 11291,” she wrote.
“I call your attention to this important piece of legislation that could very well be the lifeline that our countrymen are pleading for. We are almost there; the future of this legislation that is the vessel of hope in these most troubling times now rests with you – and thus to you, on behalf of the Filipino people, I appeal,” she added.
In an earlier letter to National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) Secretary Atty. Noel K. Felongco dated March 16, 2020, De Lima urged the Commission to strongly encourage and closely coordinate with the appropriate government agencies to provide for enhanced social protection programs for the Filipino people amidst the health crisis, consistent with its mandate under RA No. 11291.
“As the Chair of the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development, I firmly believe that the government should act as the beacon of social justice by providing immediate responses to the needs of the poorest and most marginalized sectors of society,” she said.
The beneficiaries of the law include individuals whose income fall below the poverty threshold as defined by the National Economic and Development Authority, and those who cannot afford in a sustained manner to provide for their minimum basic needs of food, health, education, and housing.
This law complements the 4Ps Act, which De Lima also authored and sponsored, institutionalizing the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program as an anti-poverty program for qualified poor Filipino families. (30)