CHR, ERC, NCIP bud­gets to go to free higher ed­u­ca­tion

Cebu Daily News - - NEWS - /IN­QUIRER.NET

The House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives will re­align the bud­get­sof the Com­mis­sion on Hu­man Rights, the Na­tional Com­mis­sion on In­dige­nous Peo­ples, and the En­ergy Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion to fund free higher ed­u­ca­tion.

“The bud­get will form part of the pool of funds to fi­nance the free higher ed­u­ca­tion law,” ap­pro­pri­a­tions com­mit­tee chair Rep. Karlo No­grales said in a text mes­sage.

This was af­ter Speaker Pan­ta­leon Al­varez in a Thurs­day ra­dio in­ter­view vowed to in­sist on the ef­fec­tive de­fund­ing of the agen­cies when the House and the Se­nate go on a bi­cam­eral con­fer­ence to rec­on­cile their ver­sions of the 2018 Gen­eral Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Act.

“I re­spect the Se­nate, but it doesn’t mean it will get its way with what­ever it wants,” he said. “We can’t al­ways yield to what­ever they want.”

The De­part­ment of Bud­get and Man­age­ment orig­i­nally pro­posed bud­gets of P350.95 mil­lion for the ERC, P1.13 bil­lion for the NCIP, and P649.48 mil­lion for the CHR, of a to­tal of P2.13 bil­lion.

Ak­bayan Rep. To­m­a­sito Vil­larin of the op­po­si­tion Mag­nif­i­cent Seven bloc crit­i­cized the at­tempt to “soften the crit­i­cism” of the House’s 119–32 vote to de­fund CHR.

“Nice try Karlo, but it ain’t cute. You can’t cut the­budgetofa con­sti­tu­tional body then to soften crit­i­cism (and) be­stow it to a sup­posed loftier cause like free tu­ition,” Vil­larin said. “Ed­u­cat­ing peo­ple on the value of hu­man rights should start with our leg­is­la­tors.”

Gabriela Women’s Party Reps. Emmi de Je­sus and Ar­lene Brosas said in a state­ment that “en­sur­ing funds for the youth’s right to ed­u­ca­tion should not be at the ex­pense of the in­sti­tu­tion that is man­dated to up­hold and pro­mote the most ba­sic of hu­man rights, in­clud­ing the right to life.”

/IN­QUIRER FILE PHOTO

CHR chief Jose Luis Gas­con.

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