Why I voted vs budget cut
By Gabriel H. Bordado Representative, 3rd District of Camarines Sur AS spelled out in the explanatory note of HOUSE BILL 6215, President RODRIGO DUTERTE submitted to Congress the 2018 NATIONAL BUDGET amounting to P3.767 trillion on the same day he delivered the State of the Nation Address (SONA). The President dubbed the said budget as “a budget that reforms and transforms.” And in this budget, the COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS would have an allocation of P623.38 million. I am certain that the President had (and still has) compelling reasons for such an allocation. During the commemoration of the National Heroes Day this year, President Duterte was quoted by a columnist as saying “Let us honor them by upholding the rule of law and fostering goodwill among ourselves.” He also made the commitment “to harness the same virtue as we continue to fight against lawlessness, criminality, and poverty that hinder us from achieving our full potentials.” The presidential pronouncements complement the powers and functions of the CHR as decreed by the Constitution itself including, among others, “the provision of appropriate legal measures for the protection of human rights of all persons within the Philippines, as well as Filipinos residing abroad, and provide for preventive measures and legal aid services to the underprivileged whose human rights have been violated or need protection.” The Constitution also mandates that “the approved annual appropriation of the Commission shall be automatically and regularly released.” In conformity with the presidential pronouncements and the constitutional provisions, I believe that it will be in the best interest of the country to approve the P623.38 million originally earmarked for the CHR and not the P1K as proposed.