addressing roots of poverty, Duterte’s Magna Carta of the poor to
fail miserably – labor group
May 26, 2019
QUEZON CITY – Labor
group Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) is not at all
optimistic that the recently signed into law Republic Act 11291 or
the Magna Carta of the Poor by President Rodrigo Duterte will even
make a dent to address the ever-growing number of families falling
below poverty levels.
The group claimed that the
law will “fail miserably” in aiming for the reduction of poverty and
or even increasing the poor’s access to social services as state
policies continue to favor the economic elite.
“RA 11291 is a mere
codification of what is already supposedly being implemented or
should be by agencies. An overstatement of the mandate of agencies
but does it raise a finger at the glaring causes and contributors to
the perennial issue of poverty will amount to nothing but cosmetic
theatrics to an administration severely failing to deliver change,
said Ka Leody de Guzman, chair of BMP.
According to the new law,
the poor shall be classified as persons whose income falls below the
poverty threshold as defined by the National Economic and
Development Authority (NEDA), and those who cannot afford their
minimum basic needs of food, health, education, and housing.
He argues that a mere
reiteration of the administration’s innate duty to advance the
interests of the poor is pointless without properly identifying the
root causes and the policies that contributed to its catastrophic
De Guzman said, “despite
its overarching scope, RA 11291 is a classic case of doublespeak.
Its ambiguity only highlights its deafening silence on the factors
that contributed to poverty”
He cites the continued
practice of contractualization and circumvention of constitutionally
guaranteed labor rights and the regionalization and municipalization
of wages in industrial hubs as the obstacles to achieving the law’s
The labor leader adds that
recently enacted laws such as Tax reform law and the Rice import
tariffication law will only exacerbate the miserable conditions of
those living below poverty levels.
He pointed out that the
TRAIN Law has been discovered to have contributed to inflation by
the state think-tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies
and the Rice import tariffication law deprived Filipino farmers 95
billion pesos in income says the Philippine Chamber of Agriculture
and Food Inc..
“Not unless this
administration veer away from the path of neo-liberal globalization
and the socially generated value is equitably distributed, the
man-made crisis of privation will worsen beyond Duterte’s six-year
term,“ he said.