Philippine Government: Favoring the Rich or Not?
“HE WHO HAS LESS IN LIFE MUST HAVE MORE IN LAW” – President Ramon Magsaysay
SLUMS are the densely populated, squalid parts of the city. They are undesirable areas of the city that are unwanted. These spots become inhabited by the millions of poor people who have low paying jobs or work in the informal sector of society- they are too poor to pay high rental fees and instead choose to build makeshift homes on un-chartered land. It is an immense global problem since so many people in the Third World are living below the poverty level.
Due process has no exact definition. Under the BILL OF RIGHTS, Article III Section 1 of the 1987 Constitution, it states that: “NO PERSON SHALL BE DEPRIVED OF LIFE, LIBERTY, OR PROPERTY WITHOUT DUE PROCESS OF LAW, NOR SHALL ANY PERSON BE DENIED THE EQUAL PROTECTION OF LAWS.”
REASONS FOR THE PROPOSITION THAT THE PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT FAVORS THE RICH:
1. Under the Philippine Judicial System, there is the so-called “Double Standard of Justice” – There is a standard for the poor and a standard for the rich.
2. The impact of SELECTIVE JUSTICE exists. The poor, without the means to defend themselves, have to rot in jail after committing a crime or offense, while the rich, committing the same crime or offense enjoy life outside of prison with their lawyers and their money.
3. There is insufficient housing for the poor and not enough job creation by the government or international organizations such as the IMF. Instead, the budget goes to the middle and upper income.
4. Governments fail to protect citizens living in slums often forgetting that they are even citizens, they push them off the land to build apartment complexes for their rich friends and big businesses.
5. Often times the poor do not have a voice and it is the rich who become officials as well as elect the officials that will keep them living in their grand lifestyles. It is high ranking politicians who benefit off of the poor- public officials and corrupt police who illegally subdivide plots.
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REASONS AGAINST THE PROPOSITION THAT THE PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT FAVORS THE RICH:
1. The Philippine President, Benigno “Noy-Noy” Aquino, signed Pro-poor Laws on June 21, 2011. This includes the Mandatory Immunization for Children, a Bill allowing the Employment of Female Night Workers, and the Extension of the Lifeline Electricity Rates for the Poor Consumers. The Extension of a Lifeline Rates for Electricity would allow the less fortunate to put more of their resources into feeding themselves, or into saving enough money to pay for their hospital or medicine needs. This extension would allow those people who are bound by poverty to focus more of their resources into keeping themselves and their families alive, while also giving them access to electricity. The Mandatory Infants and Children Immunization Act require that all children under 5-years-old must be given basic immunization against vaccine-preventable diseases. And the last one which is the bill that allows female night workers to get employed, exempts night-working female employees from the Department of Labor and Employment.
2. Quezon City is currently enforcing the Social Housing Tax Ordinance which imposes and additional 0.5% tax on lands with assessed value exceeding P100, 000. 00 that shall accrue to a special account under the city government’s general fund over the next five years. District II Councilor Roderick Paulate said that the ordinance was not only pro-poor because the fund would be translated into more public service.
3. Job fairs for the unemployed are continuously conducted every month for the unemployed. This gives opportunities for the poor to get a job and be successful in the future.
4. The RH Bill promotes equity for poor families RH indicators show severe inequities between the rich and poor. For example, 94% of women in the richest quintile have a skilled attendant at birth compared to only 26% in the poorest. The richest have 3 times higher tubal ligation rates compared to the poorest. This equity gap in tubal ligation partly explains why the wealthy hardly exceed their planned number of children, while the poorest get an extra 2. Infant deaths among the poorest are almost 3 times compared to the richest, which partly explains why the poor plan for more children. An RH law will promote equity in health through stronger public health services accessible to poor families.
5. The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved today a US$250 million financing in support of the Philippine government’s agenda for good governance, growth, and poverty reduction. This fresh financing for the Philippines supports the country’s achievements and efforts for promoting inclusive growth through better fiscal management, improved investment climate, and investments in human capital (specifically in health and education) to enable the poor to take advantage of emerging economic opportunities.
MARIELLE P. SANTIAGO is a proud alumna of the elementary and high school departments of New Era University
JESSICA SANZ DESTA finished elementary and high school in Holy Spirit of Mt. Carmel School of Quezon City
KRISTINE LEA RABAJA went to Aparri Kete School and New Era Univeristy
GRACE PIAD DE GUZMAN graduated fromDr. Albert Elementary School and Don A Roces Science-Technology High School.
JANINE MABILANGAN is from Carmona Elementary School and Lakeshore Educational Institute
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