CHR might get P118 million slash

·2 min read
Joseph Jimenez (L), a forensic expert from the Philippines Commission on Human Rights (CHR), talks about the results of the autopsy of Florjohn Cruz to his wife and mother, outside Eusebio Funeral Service in Manila, Philippines October 28, 2016. Picture taken October 28, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Joseph Jimenez (L), a forensic expert from the Philippines Commission on Human Rights (CHR), talks about the results of the autopsy of Florjohn Cruz to his wife and mother, outside Eusebio Funeral Service in Manila, Philippines October 28, 2016. Picture taken October 28, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

The government is proposing a P846.38 million budget for the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) for 2023, an amount P118.33 million less of the current year’s budget.

This was according to the National Expenditure Program (NEP) of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) presented to Congress on August 23.

Among the human rights agency’s operations such as its protection program and policy advisory program, only the one for human rights promotion got a cut worth P5.86 million. The current year’s budget for the program is P81.08 million, but the government wants its budget reduced to P75.22 million for FY 2023.

According to the Office of the Ombudsman, CHR’s human rights promotion program focuses on “education and training; human rights information and public advocacy; human rights research and development; compliance monitoring of international human rights standards in governance; and web services.”

While there is a budget cut on the human rights promotion program, the decrease can best be seen in terms of the Operating Expenditures (OpEx).

All three aspects of OpEx (Personnel Services (PS), Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE), and Capital Outlays(CO)) are bound to get a cut as well. PS and MOOE will get a P28.26 million and P62.26 million cut, respectively, while there is no money planned to be allotted for CO. CO is for big purchases such as buildings, equipment, and furniture.

In the agency’s 2020 and 2021 accomplishment reports, the agency’s number of vacant positions decreased from 319 in 2020 to 295 for the Central Office alone. Meanwhile, Regional Offices increased in filled-up positions (352 to 359), but decreased in Total Manpower Complement, indicating lesser positions to be filled-up. Data for CY 2022 has yet to be made available.

Mark Ernest Famatigan is a news writer who focuses on Philippine politics. He is an advocate for press freedom and regularly follows developments in the Philippine economy. The views expressed are his own.

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