BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES
PROCLAMATION NO. 717
DECLARING THE PERIOD FROM OCTOBER 17 TO 23 OF EVERY YEAR AS THE “NATIONAL WEEK FOR OVERCOMING POVERTY”
WHEREAS, since October 17, 1997 the Philippines has joined other countries of the world and the United Nations in the observance of October 17 as the International Day to Overcome Extreme Poverty in order to promote awareness on the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries, particularly in developing countries, as an ethical, social, political and economic imperative of humankind;
WHEREAS, the Philippines has targeted to halve hunger and extreme poverty in the country within the decade as part of its commitment in the attainment of the UN Millennium Development Goals, foremost of which is the eradication of hunger and extreme poverty in the world;
WHEREAS, the urgency to focus on the eradication of hunger and extreme poverty in the Philippines is impelled by the impending fiscal crisis and the state of poverty of at least one third of the country’s population;
WHEREAS, poverty eradication is the responsibility not only of the national government but must also be the concern of all sectors of society, and, therefore, who should all link arms and unite in the fight against poverty; that, pursuant to this principle, the Government has adopted the “Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan” or “KALAHI” as the over-arching strategy in poverty reduction;
WHEREAS, the administration has outlined a Pro-Poor Reform Program under the 10-Point National Development Agenda in order to realize its targets and commitments in poverty reduction.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby declare the period from October 17 to 23 of every year as the “National Week for Overcoming Extreme Poverty” and further declare:
1. That the general objective of the yearly observance of the National Week for Overcoming Extreme Poverty in the Philippines shall be to unite and gather the support of all sectors of society–national government agencies, local government units, civil society organizations, private sector and the poor communities themselves—in the fight against extreme poverty.
2. That, more specifically, the observance shall:
• Raise the awareness of KALAHI partner communities, basic sector representatives, national and local government agencies, civil society groups and the private sector on the true situation of poverty in the country and in their respective localities;
• Generate support and renew the commitments of the different poverty reduction stakeholders in realizing the Pro-Poor Reform Program under the 10-Point National Development Agenda; and
• Recognize and appreciate the various initiatives of poor communities and groups in uplifting the lives of poor Filipinos;
3. That in order to provide ample opportunity for all key partners and stakeholders to participate in the activities in observance of the National Week for Overcoming Extreme Poverty, the activities shall be held during the week from October 17 to 23 of every year.
4. That the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) shall lead, coordinate, monitor and evaluate the nationwide yearly observance of the National Week for Overcoming Extreme Poverty in coordination with the Regional KALAHI Convergence Groups, local government units, and other key partners and stakeholders in poverty reduction.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the Republic of the Philippines, to be affixed.
DONE in the City of Manila, this 18th day of October, in the year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Four.
(Sgd.) GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO
By the President:
(Sgd.) EDUARDO R. ERMITA