Philippines: TU bats for bigger CHR budget

May. 08, 2007

MANILA — Team Unity believes the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) can function more effectively under an atmosphere of an improved economyand a bigger budget.

At a recent forum in Quezon City on the occasion of CHR’s 20th anniversary, TU deputy spokesman Tonypet Albano also said the Team Unity senatorial candidates would work for providing the Commission a bigger budget, should they win in the May 14 midterm elections.

Albano noted that CHR doesn’t have enough funds to carry out its functions, like protecting and promoting human rights, advising the state on national policies and standards, along with advocating and monitoring government’s compliance with international treaty obligations on human rights.

He said, “Economic rights ang kailangan nating pagtuunan ng pansin. Kasi, kung may pera naman madali kaagad mag-decide, madali tayong makapaglalabas ng pera para suportahan ang mga proyekto at programa ng CHR.”

The Team Unity senatorial candidates, according to Albano, are campaigning on a platform of economic growth as well as supporting President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s “8 by ’08” agenda focused on more investments; a strong peso; lowering living costs; education; pro-poor healthcare, housing and hunger mitigation; a strong anti-terrorism drive; and a green Philippines.

As a result of the fiscal reforms put in place by the Arroyo administration, the country continues to enjoy 24 consecutive quarters of uninterrupted growth, which has allowed the government to raise more funds for the provision of infrastructure projects and social services.

The CHR needs a bigger budget, Albano said, adding that “ang pinakamalaking hadlang sa kanilang paggawa(ng tungkulin) ay ang limitadong resources nila.”

Albano pointed out that the President would like to provide CHR with a bigger budget, like what she did with the Office of the Ombudsman for which she allocated P960 million to speed up the resolution of corruption cases.###

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