SOCIAL JUSTICE AGENDA
Social Justice is the overarching theme and integral part of the development agendas in the other Thematic Clusters.
This would be concretized through policy advocacies and other activities in engaging with Local Government Units and Government Agencies.
The United Nations defines extreme or absolute poverty as “a condition characterized by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information.” The World Bank estimates that about 702 million people across the globe live under this condition.
Poverty of this kind is commonplace in the Philippines, even to this day when so much development has already taken place in many parts of the country. Despite some economic progress for many in the Philippines, the fact remains that one in every four Filipino is considered poor and over 12 million are living in absolute poverty, subsisting below 100 pesos a day.
The eradication of poverty in the Philippines has been a long-held dream for many Filipinos, both as individuals and organizations. Across recent decades, many multi-sectoral initiatives and landmark accomplishments have been made that commulatively increased the posibility of realizing such a lofty goal. In 2015, however, a year marked by the Philippine Catholic Church as “The Year of the Poor,” the same old pursuit was given renewed strength and inspiration. Responding to a call that the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) made in a poverty summit, a civil society initiative was born that aims to realize the vision of a “Philippines where every Filipino enjoys the necessary goods that define and sustain human dignity, life, security, and engaged citizenzhip.”
Inspired by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), coalition members have aligned and synergized their varied initiatives along eight themes or action clusters. These are the following: Health; Education; Environment; Livelihood and Employment; Agriculture and Fisheries; Housing and Shelter; Peace and Human Security; and Social Justice.
Each coalition member brings its expertise, knowledge, resources, and dedication to bear upon a theme that it has chosen to be the focus of its actions. This ensures that a genuinely concentrated effort is given to specific conditions of poverty in Philippine society, while assuring at the same time the non-redundancy of efforts and strategic complementarity within the coalition.
Bonded as one big and complex organization, the members of the coalition guide each other’s actions through as essentials and simple objective: they are to work for the elimination of the very conditions that entrap poor Filipinos within the vicious cycles of poverty. This is their shared and overarching agenda upon which they will build all their action plans, programs, and pathways for the reduction of poverty and inequality in the Philippines by 2030.