MANILA - Besieged by international criticism of its war on drugs, the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte has started drafting a plan to address the country's human rights situation in the next 5 years, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano said Wednesday.
In a statement, Cayetano said he reported the plan during the 3rd cycle of the Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, Switzerland Monday.
The plan, he said, will adopt "a culture-sensitive perspective, gender-sensitive paradigm, and human rights-based approach in public service."
It also seeks to "mainstream the government's human rights agenda in its development initiatives to protect all, especially the most vulnerable sectors, including but not limited to, the indigenous people, children, women, migrant workers, the elderly, domestic workers, persons with disabilities, farmers, laborers, and members of the LGBT community," Cayetano said.
The senator noted that the previous Aquino administration also came up with a human rights plan in 2012.
Cayetano also highlighted the Duterte administration's effort to augment the budget of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) from P439 million to P724 million -- the highest since 2005.
"The provision of additional resources for CHR, the President's most outspoken critic, shows that this administration supports human rights programs and initiatives," he said.
He added that Duterte's executive order institutionalizing Freedom of Information in the executive branch and the launch of complaint hotline 8888 prove that the administration promotes accountability.
He also noted the government's efforts in encouraging private sector participation in ensuring a more effective and sustainable rehabilitation and reintegration program for self-confessed drug users and pushers who surrendered.
"The Philippine Government under President Duterte is committed to real change, to peace and development and to addressing the problems of poverty and inequality," he said.
"We are committed to Change. We are committed to the rule of Law. We are committed to upholding human rights."