The P1,000 budget for the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in 2018 being pushed by the majority of the House of Representatives continue to be the object of debate among almost all sectors of Philippine society. In fact, it has become a political issue where those who are in favor for the idea were marked as pro-Duterte administration and those who are not are concluded to be anti-Duterte administration. Yes, the matter has become another divisive issue that further encourages disunity among Filipinos due to its weirdness. The silly amount of reduction from the proposed P678 million is close to the wish of the House to abolish the commission. The same measly budget was also proposed for two other bodies, the Energy Regulatory Commission and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples.
Why? Because according to the Congressmen, these commissions failed to deliver what they are supposed to deliver. If that is so, then the House could have moved for the abolition of the three commissions rather than engage into the travesty of giving them a budget of P1,000. While, there is some truth that these commissions have not perfectly performed their mandate, it is more appropriate to initiate a probe or make their leaders explain their delinquencies and give them room to shape up.
Of the three bodies, it’s the CHR’s budget that resulted to widespread condemnation sparking to numerous interpretations of its fate topped by its open disapproval to the administration’s war on drugs, and the extra judicial killings. To many, it’s a punishment on the CHR for being a strong critic to the administration. The administration is currently bombarded with stronger criticisms for allocating billions of pesos for the police and military to step up its war on drugs and security efforts, yet a nonsensical P1,000 for human rights concerns. The Senate has vowed to restore CHR’s budget, however. They should do something rational, otherwise, the country will continue to be a laughingstock before the whole world.