President Benigno S. Aquino III tells the media on Monday, March 25, that he refused to sign into law the Magna Carta of the Poor. The bill aims to protect the rights of the poor by giving them equal access to basic rights and government services.
PNoy said that he found several provisions of the proposed law unrealistic, specifically on its provisions for right to shelter because of its high cost. He said that the government will at least spend P2.32 trillion, which is beyond the 2013 Congress-approved government budget of only P2.006 trillion. He also added he does not agree with a provision of the proposed law that will allow citizens to sue the National Housing Authority (NHA) if it fails to provide housing units.
“Ngayon, ‘yung budget natin ang pwede lang i-program of the P2-trillion (for housing) is roughly about P600-billion. Wala pa ‘yung right to food, wala pa ‘yung right to work, wala pa ‘yung right to health, wala pa ‘yung right to education,” Aquino told reporters.
The president points out he is just being realistic. “So, sa madaling salita, pwede akong magpa-cute. Pwede kong pinirmahan itong batas na ‘to, pogi tayo, pero alam ko hindi mami-meet ng gobyerno. Made-demanda pa, kunwari, ‘yung head ng NHA: ‘bakit wala akong bahay?’” Aquino said.
Aquino stressed that his move does not signify the death of the Magna Carta for the poor, with him noting that he has already ordered his cabinet to draft a new law. “Our corrective action here is to direct our social cluster to draw up a substantive measure that we will give to the next Congress, and hopefully, they will act upon it with haste,” Aquino said.
Some lawmakers, especially his critics, lambasted PNoy’s drastic move to veto the bill. Zambales Representative and now an UNA senatorial bet Mitos Magsaysay, said Aquino’s refusal “just goes to show that he has no love and concern for our less fortunate brothers”.
“His elitist background is showing,” Magsaysay, who is also an author of the bill, added.
While he was slammed by critics, Aquino gets support from some netizens. With majority of them giving praises to the president for being realistic.
Click here for the full text of Magna Carta of the poor (House version).[poll id="25"]
Do you want to contribute a story? Please send your article or post through e-mail.