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Some senators oppose the P1,000 budget for CHR

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

Manila, Philippines — Commission on Human Rights chairman Chito Gascon couldn’t believe that the Lower House cut their budget down to only P1,000 pesos for next year.

According to Gascon, it is obvious that the commission cannot function with this small amount.

“Di talaga mapagkakasya yan sa gawain ng aming opisina o tanggapan kaya umaasa kami na magkaroon pa ng pagkakataon sa proseso ng pagdinig sa Senado(It is not enough to fund our operations that is why we are hoping to have another shot in the Senate hearing),” said CHR chairman, Chito Gascon.

Bayan Muna Partylist representative Carlos Zarate is among those who oppose the budget cut.

According to Zarate, it will not be good to abolish the operation of a constitutional body that functions as a check and balance to ensure that human rights of the citizens are not being violated by the state.

“Magreresulta ito ng lalo pang mga paglabag sa karapatang pantao na tuloy tuloy nating nilalabanan (It will result in more violations of human rights which we continue to fight against),” he said.

Some senators have also expressed opposition to the decision of the Lower House.

According to Senator Grace Poe, CHR should get proper support.

“Ang apektado mga empleyado, mga imbestigasyon na nakabinbin ngayon. Importante sa gobyerno natin na merong balance of power, na kahit salungat ang opinyon ay masasabi nating nagbibigay ng tamang diskurso (The ones affected are the employees and pending investigations. It is important for the government to have a balance of power wherein despite opposing opinions, we can say that a proper discourse is being given),” she said.

On the other hand, Senator JV Ejercito said, “Mukhang hindi naman papayagan yan [ sa Senado] (I don’t think the Senate will allow it) because the Constitution mandates it.”

“Siguro kahit hindi man natin gusto yung mga nakaupo dun ( Even if we do not like who is sitting there), it’s a necessity,” he added.

The Senate minority is in favor of the P678-million proposed budget of the Commission on Human Rights.

“The Senate would like to think will not stand on the abolition of the CHR through giving it a P1,000 budget,” said Senator Franklin Drilon. — Rajel Adora | UNTV News & Rescue

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DILG Usec Diño’s proposed barangay ‘drug list’ alarms CHR

by UNTV NEWS   |   Posted on Monday, January 15th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Dropbox placed on barangays

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is alarmed by the new plan of DILG Undersecretary Martin Diño wherein every barangay in the Philippines will be made to submit a drug list.

For the commission, there is no assurance that this can protect the identity of mentioned suspects even though the DILG vowed to conduct a thorough investigation in listing them

“Intelligence gathering is primarily a function of law enforcement so we hope that a validation and a case buildup will be undertaken seriously and comprehensively by the Philippine National Police (PNP),” CHR Spokesperson, Atty. Jacqueline De Guia said.

In Diño’s defense, he said his proposal will not violate human rights.

He will also ensure that it will be effective and the series of extrajudicial killings involving policemen will not happen again.

Diño said, there is no need to bring back the use of drop box in every barangay hall that contains names of suspected pushers.

“Remember, we also have NGO’s, the peoples’ organization inside the barangay, we also have it in churches,” he said. — Mai Bermudez | UNTV News & Rescue

 

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Sec. Duque: Huge portion of DOH’s 2018 budget will go to health services for the poor

by UNTV   |   Posted on Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) has an approved budget of 167-billion pesos for 2018 — the biggest budget the Congress approved for the Health Department.

With the new leadership of the DOH, the agency is prioritizing to allocate a huge chunk of its budget to health services for poor Filipinos.

“Well, 2018 a chunk of that, of the P167 billion, about P55 billion of that goes to PhilHealth for the subsidy of the premium payments for the indigents under the sponsored program as also identified by the DSWD under the NHTS or the National Household System,” said Sec. Francisco Duque III.

According to Secretary Duque, the agency will also use the said fund to determine the number of families under the poverty line.

The DOH also targets to lower the number of top health cases in the country like dengue and malaria as well as communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases. It will also cover pulmonary diseases like tuberculosis, as well as cancer.

“We would like to see also a lot more provinces that will be declared as Malaria-free. We will accelerate. We will press on the accelerator to make sure that our targets are achieved these tropical diseases, these communicable infectious diseases and also equally important the non-communicable diseases or the NCDs being responsible for the most common causes of deaths in the Philippines,” said the health secretary.

The DOH will also intensify its the program against human immunodeficiency virus or HIV as the number of individuals contracting the said diseases rises.

Last September, the DOH epidemiology bureau recorded more than 900 new cases of HIV infection.

“We need to make sure that the efforts to bring it down are not hampered and so it is very important. We need to intensify programs to ensure that the cases of HIV/AIDS will not further rise,” said Sec. Duque.

Health Secretary Duque vows to make DOH the leading government agency in providing services to those in need. — Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

 

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DBM admits small budget allocation to opposition lawmakers

by UNTV   |   Posted on Thursday, December 21st, 2017


MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Budget and Management (DBM)  has denied allegations that the Duterte administration did not give funds to legislators who are part of the opposition.

However, DBM Secretary Benjamin Diokno admitted that the government allocated a lesser budget for the proposed projects of the opposition legislators.

“I know there were some adjustments, but there will be a distinction between those with the administration,” said Sec. Diokno.

“Allies will get more,” he added.

The DBM chief reasoned that one of their basis for giving fewer funds to them is the assessment conducted on the recommended projects of the local officials and the opposition lawmakers themselves.

Diokono said that the agency properly studied if the recommended projects should be given funds.

“It also depends on how worthwhile are your projects. Because if you recommend so many projects but none of which turned out to be worthwhile or feasible, it will not be considered,” said Diokno.

The Budget Secretary also said the agency does not use fund allocations as a political tool to control the passage of the administration’s priority bills.

The DBM has not released any details on the projects recommended by opposition lawmakers whose proposed budgets were slashed. — Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue

 

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