CODE-NGO’s Position Re Senate Bill No. 699 or the proposed “People’s Fund Act”
December 5, 2016
The Caucus of Development NGO Networks (CODE-NGO) welcomes the declared policies of the State included in Senate Bill. 699 filed by Senator Paolo Benigno A. Aquino, particularly that of promoting “a just and dynamic social order through the strengthening of a broad range of organizations, programs and initiatives that facilitate social welfare, people’s participation and national development” and of providing “a mechanism that empowers its citizens to directly contribute public funds towards priority development programs and the strengthening of a vibrant civil society sector”.
The “People’s Fund” proposed by this bill will enable the country to initiate a system that would empower individual taxpayers to identify legitimate civil society organizations (CSOs) doing vital development programs and projects that they would like government to support. This system allows taxpayers to have direct participation, enables CSOs to implement effective development programs and projects for disadvantaged sectors and communities, and also promotes local philanthropy as it builds relations between citizens and CSOs.
This proposed system is similar to “percentage laws” in European countries that have already been successfully implemented for several years.
CODE-NGO fully supports SB 699, and calls on the Committee on Ways and Means and the House of Senate to fast-track its approval.