Social Justice lies at the heart of the 1987 Constitution, evinced by Art. II, Sec. 10 thereof, which provides that the “State shall promote social justice in all phases of national development,” and Art. XIII where both concepts of Social Justice and Human Rights were combined to make clear that the promotion of the former is essential for the realization and enjoyment of the latter.
This I have always reminded myself and my team with since I chaired the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development in 2018. Kaya naman sa halos walong buwan kong serbisyo bilang pinuno nito, ikinigagalak kong i-ulat ang mga matagumpay na natapos ng komite sa pagsusulong ng mga panukalang batas na may layuning maghatid ng mas mahusay na kalidad ng buhay at may pangkalahatang pagtuon sa pagtulong sa mga may pinakamaraming pangangailangan at marginalized sectors.
Just recently, three priority legislations were successfully passed in the Senate with the goal of improving the lives of the most vulnerable sectors of our society. Their cries have finally been heard, and they will no longer be consigned in the shadows.
The Magna Carta of the Poor, which will put premium on the fundamental rights of the poor to food, work, education, shelter and health, is the State’s response to decades-old ills that have for the longest time prevented the rise of the poor in the social ladder.
The National Commission of Senior Citizens Act, which recognizes the rising number of Senior Citizens in our population, is the State’s faithful compliance with its moral obligation to give back to those who have served this nation with blood and sweat in their yesteryears.
And finally, the 4Ps Institutionalization Act which will ensure that as we protect the lynchpin of the government’s social protection program and poverty reduction strategy from political transitions through its institutionalization, we also enhance this massive and effective program by prioritizing farmers and fisherfolk, ensuring a livelihood component that will provide more income to the poor households and help them graduate from the program, and assuring that the poor and qualified households are covered and protected and the targets of the program met.
More equally meaningful social justice measures are in the pipeline.
Ito ay hindi natin makakamit kung hindi dahil sa suporta at gabay ng mga kasamahan ko sa Senado, partikular na yung mga may akda ng mga panukalang batas na ito, sina Sen. Ralph Recto at Sen. Risa Hontiveros na nagpasok ng mahahalagang susog sa kaso ng 4Ps Act, sa masigasig na pamumuno ni Senate President Vicente Sotto III, at ang kasama kong nagsulong ng mga prayoritad na ito, ang aking kaibigan at kasangga na si Sen. Sonny Trillanes.
Nais ko ring magbigay pugay sa mga primary stakeholders – kabilang ang mga eksperto, mga batayang sektor ng lipunan at ang dating Kalihim ng DSWD Dinky Soliman – sa kanilang aktibo at walang humpay na partisipasyon sa paglikha ng mga panukalang ito.
With these milestones, it is imperative that we all do our part and remain ever vigilant in ensuring that these measures are signed into law and dutifully and responsibly implemented by the national government.
Bagaman malayo na ang ating narating, kailangan pa natin ng patuloy pang pagsusog at suporta upang tuluyang maisabatas itong mga panukalang ito na makatutulong sa ating mga kababayang nangangailangan. This is but another step forward in our continuing journey towards attaining social justice for the disadvantaged sectors.
Walang tatalo sa pwersa ng nagkakaisang sambayanan.
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