Civic groups welcome P1-K for CHR, NCIP
DAVAO civic society groups welcomed the decision of the House of Representatives to cut the funding for Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) saying the two agencies deserved it.
Save Our Schools (SOS) Network spokesperson Rius Valle said the P1,000 budget for the CHR and NCIP, including the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), is just enough since these agencies always failed to do its respective duties.
"It will be good if the Congress will totally abolish these agencies. Kasama ng mga lumad, ng sandugo, hinihiling namin to abolish NCIP and CHR dahil wala naman itong nagawa sa kanilang bayan, lalo na sa mga katutubo natin," Valle said.
The NCIP, Valle said, has only contributed to the problems of the indigenous peoples (IPs), particularly on the issue on land grabbing, deceiving lumads for personal interests, and abuses allegedly brought about by the Oplan Kapayapaan.
Meanwhile, the CHR, has been covering-up the human rights violations allegedly perpetrated by the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police (AFP-PNP), among other state forces in the region.
"Ang pagbibigay ng kakarampot na pondo sa CHR ay layunin ipitin sila ng Duterte government, pagaaway-awayin, at banggaan ito ng parehong intidad na hindi rumerespeto sa karapatang pantao ng mga lumad at publiko," he added.
Ella, who refused to be identified for lack of the authority to speak, of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers in Davao (ACT–Davao), said the decision of the Congress to cut the budget of the two government agencies was just and right.
"Tama lang din because the CHR did nothing. It would be much better pa nga if wala talagang budget ilalaan for them or dapat i-abolish na ang CHR," Ella said.
Congress earlier approved a P1,000 budget for CHR, NCIP and ERC for 2018 in plenary debates. Reports said that this represents a total budget slash of more than P2.1-billion from the total proposed funding for the agencies next year.
The CHR had an initial proposed budget of P623.38-million, which was cut to P1,000 amid its consistent criticism of President Rodrigo Duterte administration's anti-drug campaign.
Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate moved to reduce the budget of the NCIP to P1,000 from its original budget of P1.132 billion, citing its failure to defend the rights of national minorities.
The ERC, which had an original proposed budget of P365 million, has been the subject of investigations by the House Committee on Energy over a purportedly anomalous deal that allowed power distributor Manila Electric Co. to enter into power supply agreements (PSA) with its sister companies.