BALANGKAYAN, Eastern Samar — Vice-President Leni Robredo is overwhelmed with the public outrage over House of Representative’s approval of PHP1,000 budget for the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) next year.
The Vice President said expressing sentiments and comments over the action of Congress is a right of every individual.
Robredo, who was in Eastern Samar Thursday afternoon for a dialogue with poor communities, said the strong public objection to the action of lawmakers is crucial to keeping public officials and institutions accountable.
Citizens immediately voiced disappointment on social media over the move of the lawmakers to allocate only PHP1,000 budget to the CHR for 2018.
The budget was approved by 119 congressmen while only 32 voted against the drastic cut from the CHR’s proposed PHP678 million.
Lawmakers who approved the budget said the CHR failed to do its job and protected the human rights of criminals rather than the victims.
In her statement released after Congress approved the budget, Robredo described the action of Congress as a disrespect to the Constitution and to human rights of every Filipino, a threat to democracy and an act similar to the abolition of the human rights body.
Senators, however, vowed to fight to restore the original proposed budget of the agency.
The Senate on Monday approved the CHR’s budget of PHP678 million lower to its present 2017 allocation of PHP749 million.
The budget of CHR still need to go to the bicameral committee wherein members of Congress and Senate needs to reconcile the approved budget.