SF CHRP (San Francisco Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines) is a San Francisco based human rights advocacy group. Latest news and views on human rights in the Philippines.
The national democratic partylist, Anakpawis, has chastised Aquino for his veto of legislation that would have helped enshrined and embedded the rights of the poor within Philippine law:
Anakpawis Partylist Representative Rafael V. Mariano said President Aquino’s vetoing of the Magna of the Poor measure is expected from an anti-poor, elitist president. “There can be no real pro-poor measure under the Aquino government.”
“Aquino vetoed the Magna Carta of the Poor because he wants to focus the so-called anti-poverty fund to its flagship program, the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) scheme.”
He stopped the measure in the same way that he rejected rightful demands of the people, including a P125 legislated wage increase for workers and the distribution of Hacienda Luisita, repeal of Oil Deregulation law among other measures.”
“Instead of upholding pro-poor legislations, Aquino slashed the budget for education, supported the privatization and corporatization of public hospitals and ordered the demolition of urban poor communities.”
The Magna Carta of the Poor states that poor people can demand full enjoyment of the following: the right to food, employment and livelihood, relevant and quality education, shelter and basic health services and medicines.
“These are inherent, Constitutionally-guaranteed rights of all people. It is the obligation of the state to ensure that all Filipinos enjoy these rights at all times,” Mariano said.
“All anti-poverty measures that do not include genuine land reform and national industrialization as strategic and long-term solutions to poverty will remain as a tools for the perpetuation of poverty,” the solon said.
“Poverty in the Philippines is a result of the systemic, chronic crisis. The government must do better than to pity the poor. We must show the people the real way out of poverty,” the Anakpawis solon said.
“Despite the government’s ‘economic growth,’ the social divide between rich and poor continue to grow. The Philippines has the biggest rich-poor gap in Asia. The top 40 families control 76 percent of the country’s wealth while the rest of the 92 million Filipinos share the remaining 24 percent.”
Based on the poverty threshold set by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), only about one in every four Filipinos or 25.1 percent is considered poor.
“That is the ‘classification of poor’ set by government standards. But in reality, more than 90 percent of the country’s population live in poverty based on social and economic and political indicators,” the solon said.
“Majority of the population are poor, landless farmers toiling in the countryside.