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A. Concept of social justice

Social justice is “neither communism, nor despotism, nor atomism, nor anarchy,” but the humanization of laws and the equalization of social and economic forces by the State so that justice in its rational and objectively secular conception may at least be approximated. (Calalang v. Williams, G.R. No. 47800, 02 December 194)

Social justice means the promotion of the welfare of all the people, the adoption by the Government of measures calculated to insure economic stability of all the competent elements of society, through the maintenance of a proper economic and social equilibrium in the interrelations of the members of the community, constitutionally, through the adoption of measures legally justifiable, or extra-constitutionally, through the exercise of powers underlying the existence of all governments on the time-honored principle of salus populi est suprema lex. (Ibid.)

Social justice, therefore, must be founded on the recognition of the necessity of interdependence among divers and diverse units of a society and of the protection that should be equally and evenly extended to all groups as a combined force in our social and economic life, consistent with the fundamental and paramount objective of the state of promoting the health, comfort, and quiet of all persons, and of bringing about “the greatest good to the greatest number.” (Ibid.)

1. HUMAN DIGNITY

a. Highest priority to enact certain measures

The Congress shall give highest priority to the enactment of measures that protect and enhance the right of all the people to human dignity, reduce social, economic, and political inequalities, and remove cultural inequities by equitably diffusing wealth and political power for the common good. (Section 1, Article XIII, 1987 Constitution)

b. Regulate acquisition, ownership, use and disposition of property and its increments

To this end, the State shall regulate the acquisition, ownership, use, and disposition of property and its increments. (Paragraph 1, Section 1, Article XIII, Ibid.)

c. Promotion of social justice

The promotion of social justice shall include the commitment to create economic opportunities based on freedom of initiative and self-reliance. (Section 2, Article XIII, Ibid.)

2. LABOR

a. Full protection to labor

b. Promote full employment and equal employment opportunities

The State shall afford full protection to labor, local and overseas, organized and unorganized, and promote full employment and equality of employment opportunities for all. (Section 3, Article XIII, Ibid.)

c. Self-organization, collective bargaining and negotiations, peaceful concerted activities, including right to strike

It shall guarantee the rights of all workers to self-organization, collective bargaining and negotiations, and peaceful concerted activities, including the right to strike in accordance with law. (Paragraph 2, Section 3, Article XIII, Ibid.)

d. Security of tenure

e. Human conditions of work

f. Living wage

They shall be entitled to security of tenure, humane conditions of work, and a living wage. (Ibid.)

g. Policy and decision-making processes

They shall also participate in policy and decision-making processes affecting their rights and benefits as may be provided by law. (Ibid.)

h. Shared responsibility

i. Preferential use of voluntary modes of settling disputes

The State shall promote the principle of shared responsibility between workers and employers and the preferential use of voluntary modes in settling disputes, including conciliation, and shall enforce their mutual compliance therewith to foster industrial peace. (Paragraph 3, Section 3, Article XIII, Ibid.)

j. Regulate relations between workers and employers

The State shall regulate the relations between workers and employers, recognizing the right of labor to its just share in the fruits of production and the right of enterprises to reasonable returns on investments, and to expansion and growth. (Paragraph 4, Section 3, Article XIII, Ibid.)

3. URBAN LAND REFORM AND HOUSING

a. Decent housing and basic services to underprivileged and homeless citizens

 The State shall, by law, and for the common good, undertake, in cooperation with the public sector, a continuing program of urban land reform and housing which will make available at affordable cost decent housing and basic services to underprivileged and homeless citizens in urban centers and resettlements areas. (Section 9, Article XIII, Ibid.)

b. Adequate employment opportunities to homeless citizens

It shall also promote adequate employment opportunities to such citizens. In the implementation of such program the State shall respect the rights of small property owners. (Ibid.)

c. Eviction and demolition

Urban or rural poor dwellers shall not be evicted nor their dwellings demolished, except in accordance with law and in a just and humane manner. (Section 10, Article XIII, Ibid.)

d. Adequate consultation on resettlement

No resettlement of urban or rural dwellers shall be undertaken without adequate consultation with them and the communities where they are to be relocated. (Paragraph 2, Section 10, Article XIII, Ibid.)

4. HEALTH

a. Health development

The State shall adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to health development which shall endeavor to make essential goods, health and other social services available to all the people at affordable cost.

b. Priority to underprivileged sick, elderly, disabled, women, children

There shall be priority for the needs of the underprivileged sick, elderly, disabled, women, and children.

c. Free medical care to paupers

The State shall endeavor to provide free medical care to paupers. (Section 11, Article XIII, Ibid.)

d. Food and drug regulatory system

The State shall establish and maintain an effective food and drug regulatory system and undertake appropriate health manpower development and research, responsive to the country’s health needs and problems. (Section 12, Article XIII, Ibid.)

e. Special agency for disabled persons

The State shall establish a special agency for disabled persons for rehabilitation, self-development and self-reliance, and their integration into the mainstream of society. (Section 13, Article XIII, Ibid.)

5. WOMEN

a. Safe and healthful working conditions

The State shall protect working women by providing safe and healthful working conditions, taking into account their maternal functions, and such facilities and opportunities that will enhance their welfare and enable them to realize their full potential in the service of the nation. (Section 14, Article XIII, Ibid.)

6. ROLE AND RIGHTS OF PEOPLE’S ORGANIZATIONS

a. Respect to their legitimate and collective interests and aspirations

The State shall respect the role of independent people’s organizations to enable the people to pursue and protect, within the democratic framework, their legitimate and collective interests and aspirations through peaceful and lawful means. (Section 15, Article XIII, Ibid.)

b. Bona fide association of citizens

People’s organizations are bona fide associations of citizens with demonstrated capacity to promote the public interest and with identifiable leadership, membership, and structure. (Paragraph 2, Section 15, Article XIII, Ibid.)

c. Right to effective and reasonable participation

The right of the people and their organizations to effective and reasonable participation at all levels of social, political, and economic decision-making shall not be abridged. The State shall, by law, facilitate the establishment of adequate consultation mechanisms. (Section 16, Article XIII, Ibid.)

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