BACOLOD

House approves bill to uplift plight of poor

MANILA -- The House of Representatives recently approved on final reading the bill that aims to uplift the standard of living and quality of life of the poor by providing them with sustained opportunities for growth and development.

House Bill (HB) 4484 or "Magna Carta of the Poor" seeks to provide for the creation of employment and livelihood opportunities to help the poor meet their minimum basic needs.

Principal authors of the bill are Representatives Rachel Marguerite del Mar (Cebu City), Ben Evardone (Eastern Samar), Marcelino Teodoro (Marikina City), Rodante Marcoleta (Alagad party-list) and Peter Unabia (Misamis Oriental).

Evardone said the bill will "ensure consistency" in social programs introduced by the government.

"It aims to institutionalize all social services of the government because every administration has its own social programs. More often than not, social programs of the administration are normally discontinued if there is a new administration," he said in a text message.

The poor are those families or individuals whose income falls below the poverty threshold as defined by the National Economic and Development Authority.

Likewise, the measure states that the poor shall be identified by the National Anti-Poverty Commission with the participation of the basic sectors and local government units.

The bill also tasks government implementing agencies to accredit development partners like non-government organizations, people's organizations and private corporations, which shall also be authorized to accept donations, aids or grants, in cash or in kind from duly accredited sources, to meet the demands of the basic rights of the poor.

Any donation that may be made to the sponsored program shall be exempt from the donor's tax and the same shall be considered as allowable deduction from the gross income in the computation of the income tax of the donor. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)

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