Senator Risa Hontiveros has filed a resolution urging the Senate and the public to support the observance and celebration of the 4th World Day of the Poor on 15 November 2020. Pope Francis led the first ‘World Day of the Poor’ in 2017 and has since led its observation all over the world annually.
“As a leading social and political institution in the country, we, in the Senate, must recognize our shared responsibility for the promotion of social justice for the poor, and commit to enable policies that would put an end to poverty in all its forms,” she said upon filing proposed Senate Resolution No. 550.
The resolution stated that this year’s theme, “Stretch Forth Your Hand to the Poor” serves as a reminder to the people in government to ‘eliminate, or at least, alleviate the poor’s marginalization and suffering’ by reaching out and serving them in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, in which millions have lost their incomes and jobs, pushing even more people into poverty.
“Ngayong nasa gitna tayo ng krisis, mas marami ang nagugutom at naghihirap. We can’t turn a blind eye to them. Now, more than ever, we need to sustain our compassion to help the poor and reach out to them. Bilang lingkod ng bayan, huwag natin silang kalimutan. Huwag natin silang pabayaan at patuloy tayong magsilbi para sa kanila gaya ng ating sinumpaan,” she added.
The senator’s resolution also cited the ‘World Day of the Poor’ as an ‘invitation to prayer and solidarity with the poor who are suffering’ and as an ‘expression of commitment to care for them and their many needs, unconditionally’.
“The World Day of the Poor aims to spread awareness about the needs of the poor and the disadvantaged,” she said. “Isa itong paalala, hindi lang sa mga nasa katungkulan, kundi sa lahat, na huwag isantabi ang mga kababayan nating naghihirap, bagkus alalayan sila. Let’s move forward together, hindi pwedeng may maiiwan.”
As a lawmaker, Sen. Hontiveros has committed to being a “voice for the sectors and a representative of the underserved”. She has also always sought to “work to reduce inequality through legislation that is humane and people-centered, and commit to fight legislation that is anti-poor”.