National Week for Overcoming Extreme Poverty
“Moving from Humiliation and Exclusion to Participation”
“Whenever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty, human rights are violated. To come together to ensure that these rights be respected is our solemn duty”
Fr. Joseph Wresinski (1917 – 1988) founder of ATD Fourth World
The National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) hosted a one day event which included the PCUP partners and multi stakeholders on the National Week for Overcoming Extreme Poverty “Moving from Humiliation and Exclusion to Participation: Ending Poverty in All its Forms” at the Chess Plaza, Rizal Park, Manila City on October 17, 2016. International organizations such as the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), All Together in Dignity (ATD) Fourth World, and local organizations as well such as the local government of the City of Manila, National Parks Development Committee, Manila Girl Scout Council, St. Luke Reach Out Foundation, Inc.,NCIP, NCMF, KKFI, among others.
Meanwhile, the early morning event was also filled with meaningful activities such as; substantial talks, the candle lighting and ceremonial placement of the candles on the commemorative stone in the plaza. PCUP Speaker Dr. Lourdes Ronidel, Policy Unit Head, shared PCUP’s vision and mission in line with the changing times and how it can better adapt and innovate to serve the urban poor which is expected to raise the urban population by CY 2050.
October 17 is the official observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty which can be traced back to October 17, 1987 when over a hundred thousand people from all walks of life gathered at the Plaza of Human Rights and Liberties in Paris, France to honor the victims of extreme poverty , hunger, violence and ignorance. The people gathered in response to the appeal of Father Joseph Wresinski, a French Catholic priest and founder of All Together in Dignity (ATD) Fourth World Movement. They proclaimed that poverty is a violation of human rights and affirmed the need to come together to ensure that these rights are respected. These convictions were inscribed in a commemorative stone unveiled on that day.
On this very day, defenders of human and civil rights from every continent gathered here. They paid homage to the victims of hunger, ignorance and violence. They affirmed their conviction that human misery is not inevitable. They pledged their solidarity with all people who, throughout the world, strive to eradicate extreme poverty.
Since then, people of all backgrounds, beliefs and social origins have gathered every year on October 17th to renew their commitment and show their solidarity with the poor. Replicas of the commemorative stone have been unveiled around the world, and serve as convergence point to celebrate the Day. . (Taken from the Programme for the National Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty, October 17, 2016)
Response from the UN and the Philippines
As a response from the non-government organization’s initiative, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 47/196 declaring October 17 as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (IDEP) on December 22, 1992, and invited all States to devote the day in presenting and promoting, as appropriate in the national context, concrete activities with regard to the eradication of poverty and destitution.
Likewise, in the Philippines, former President Fidel V. Ramos signed Proclamation No. 269 on October 4, 1993 declaring October 17 of every year as the National Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty in observance of the ATD Fourth World “World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty”. President Ramos also unveiled at the Rizal Park a replica of the “Commemorative Stone in Honor of the Victims of Extreme Poverty”.
Then on October 18, 2004, then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo signed Proclamation 717 declaring the period of October 17-23 as the National Week for Overcoming Extreme Poverty (NWOEP). This designated NAPC to lead, coordinate, monitor and evaluate the nationwide yearly observance NWOEP in coordination of key partners and stakeholders in poverty reduction. (Excerpts: National Anti-Poverty Commission website)
- To make the public aware of the week-long commemoration and instil in them the virtues and principles espoused by the observance which is the refusal of extreme poverty and the respect of human rights, dignity, and freedom;
- To support the international campaign to end extreme poverty;
- To recognize and appreciate the various initiatives of poor communities and local government units in uplifting the lives of poor Filipinos; and
- To invite more stakeholders to join in the fight against poverty and build a critical mass to ensure a greater chance of effectively eradicating poverty at the soonest time.
( By Ronaldo A. Endaya, RPMD, 20 October 2016 )
Sec. Liza Masa, National Anti-Poverty Commission
Speakers and Delegates in the event
Bro. Anthony Wechuli with participants from different sectors
Mr. Ola Almgren, UNDP Resident Coordinator in the Philippines
Commemorative Stone in Honor of the Victims of Extreme Poverty
PCUP Participates in the National Week for Overcoming Extreme Poverty