The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) admitted that the new human rights laws are useless if they are not expressed into “added pesos and centavos.”
CHR chairperson Loretta Ann Rosales said that new laws have been passed but the corresponding resources to the commission have not been provided.
She noted that fiscal autonomy is needed in order to provide effective temporary remedies to victims of human rights violations.
These new human rights laws are the so-called trilogy laws authored by former Albay representative Edcel Lagman—the Anti-Forced Disappearance Act, Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act (VAWC), and the Reparation and Recognition Act.
Rosales, however, decried the insufficiency of funds, which should have been utilized for immediate communication, monitoring, transportation, and personnel training.
“Setting up human rights action centers necessitates funding for education of the personnel in paralegal training,” she stressed.
Records show that only 1,638 cases of human rights violations nationwide have been filed before the commission since January this year.
“Right now we are at the regional levels, but we should set up and go down to the cities and municipal levels. That is why we set up community programs and human rights action centers. We give legal assistance as well as financial assistance to the victims,” Rosales explained.
Meanwhile, Rep. Ibarra “Barry” Gutierrez of Akbayan party-list recently filed House Bill 2152 which aims to “bring the CHR in top shape to respond to the changing patterns of human rights abuses”.
The said measure aims to address the rights to housing and healthcare as well as prevent gender discrimination.
Rosales noted that she is advocating the said bill’s passage.