Food certificates-A A +A
Friday, February 8, 2013
CONGRESS passed a bill, authored by Rep. Rachel “Cutie” del Mar (Cebu City, north district), which seeks to uplift living conditions of the poor.
The Magna Carta for the Poor, approved by Congress last Wednesday, tasks the Department of Social Welfare and Development to provide subsidies to the poor, including food certificates.
Under the measure, the Department of Trade and Industry is tasked to maintain a list of accredited food stores where these food certificates can be used.
Local governments are required under the measure to create job opportunities and livelihood activities for low-income residents.
“This is a milestone in legislation. With this law, the poor will now be able to demand that government provide jobs, employment and a basic living wage,” said del Mar in a press statement.
The Magna Carta stresses that the poor have the right to employment, food and food assistance, quality education, shelter, and health care.
Under the measure, the poor are families or individuals who live below the poverty line defined by the National Economic and Development Authority. It is the same definition as the one under Republic Act 8425 or the Social Reform and Poverty Alleviation Act.
In 2011, the poverty threshold was P8,000 per month per household.
The term “poor” also covers those who cannot afford minimum basic needs like food, health care, education and housing.
Del Mar is confident that the Magna Carta for the Poor will be signed into law by President Benigno Aquino III.
“The bill institutionalizes, as well as expands, the delivery of basic services to the poor,” she said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 08, 2013.