Youth groups condemn Congress for P1,000 CHR budget
MANILA, Philippines – Youth groups aired their disappointment after the House of Representatives on Tuesday, September 12, approved the allocation of only P1,000 for the Commission on Human Rights for 2018.
In an interview, Mark Angelo Roma, founding president of Young Filipino Advocates of Critical Thinking, said that this action is geared towards making the commission completely dysfunctional.
"The disappointing move from the 119 Congressmen, mostly allies of this administration, is a sign that there really is a blatant disrespect of human rights in the country," Roma said.
He also remarked that the budget approval means that the value of human rights is reduced to P1000 which shouldn't be the case for a society that claims to uphold human dignity.
"We abhor the act. We hope that the Senate will do its part to counter this at the bicam" he ended.
Facebook page Assortedge also posted an opinion piece urging student publications to speak up against the House approval.
"The truth is the decision was anchored on ignorance about (how) the Commission on Human Rights works. After all, its mandate is to investigate the atrocities committed by the state," the post said.
It also emphasized that one should not aim for neutrality but instead for truthfulness.
"(W)e believe that our goal transcends beyond reporting the truth; our goal is to shape and influence opinion that uses truth into its proper context. At the end of the day, we have no one to serve but the Filipino people," the post ended.
In a vote of 119-32, Congress supported the motion of SAGIP Representative Rodante Marcoleta to reduce the Commission on Human Rights' budget for the next fiscal year.
Earlier on Monday, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said that he wanted to give CHR only P1,000 because "they are not doing their job."
Senate Finance Committee already approved CHR's budget proposal amounting to P678 million including P28.565 million for the Human Rights Violations Victims' Memorial Commission.
The CHR is not yet sure to receive P1,000-budget for 2018 as the Senate and House of Representative must reconcile in a bicameral committee composed of representatives from both houses (READ: P1,000 budget for CHR? Netizens react on House decision with #CHRBudgetCheaper) - Rappler.com