SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
16 September 2021 03:09:50 PM
The Committee on Appropriations, in a hybrid meeting Thursday presided over by Vice Chairman and Zamboanga del Norte Rep. Romeo Jalosjos Jr., terminated the review of the proposed budget of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) for fiscal year 2022, totaling P867.25 million. In his opening statement, CHR Chairman Jose Luis Martin Gascon told the panel that they are encouraged by the continued support given by Congress to them over the past few years to continue pursuing their mandate of human rights protection, human rights promotion, and human rights policy advisory work. “We hope, that together with the support you continue to give us in this budget, that Congress might quickly enact the mandate of that treaty of which we are currently 10 years in delay of establishing what is referred to as a national preventative mechanism so that we may fully comply with our obligations,” he said. In her presentation of the details of the budget for Fiscal Year 2022, CHR Executive Director Atty. Jacqueline de Guia said their original budget proposal was about P1.614 billion but what was recommended in the National Expenditure Program (NEP) was P867.251 million or a decrease of P747.225 million. Among the requests of the CHR to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), which they hope Congress would accommodate are: 1) restore the FY 2021 maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) NEP level in the amount of P8.62 million; 2) Five Year lump sum for retirement gratuity pay of members of the 5th Commission pursuant to Administrative Order (AO) No. 137 s. 2005, which is about P76.24 million; 3) Office Productivity under the Information Systems Strategic Plan-Medium-Term Information and Communications Technology Harmonization Initiative ISSP-MITHI as approved by the DICT, which is P28.75 million; 4) provision of Transportation Equipment (Service Vehicle) of the incoming members of the 6th Commission, amounting to about P10 million; and 5) lot rental for the new five-storey CHR Building-Central Office,, amounting to P29.88 million. Several lawmakers expressed their support for the augmentation of the CHR budget for 2022.