Magna Carta up in next Congress

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A new Magna Carta of the Poor will be introduced in the next Congress and will contain input from President Benigno Aquino III.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. made the assurance in the face of criticism of the President for scuttling the landmark bill.

In a text message, Belmonte said: “We need to revive it. Of course, it has to include the points raised in the presidential veto.”

Belmonte, however, would not go into specifics on the changes that would be made to the Magna Carta, saying the next set of lawmakers would have to decide on these probably before the year is over.

The President vetoed the Magna Carta of the Poor largely because it would be impossible for the government to bankroll the promises mandated by the law—housing, food, shelter, education, health benefits and jobs for the poor.

Mr. Aquino cited the housing commitments in the Magna Carta which would require the government to allocate P2.320 trillion to build 5 million social housing units this year, an amount that is bigger than the P2.006 trillion budget for 2012.

A source said the President was unhappy with his allies in Congress and the Cabinet who should have known better than to enact a law whose goals were impractical and unattainable.

Mr. Aquino did not like that he was being pressured to approve a law that not only had no clear source of funding but carried a massive P300 billion administrative fee.

The President said he would have not vetoed the law had its main authors adopted a “progressive realization” of its goals in the measure rather than a firm commitment.

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