Want funding? Alvarez says CHR must justify its programs

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 15 2017 04:05 PM | Updated as of Sep 15 2017 06:29 PM

House speaker Pantaleon Alvarez speaks during a presscon in Makati City, Friday. Alvarez addresses criticisms on the decision to give the Commission on Human Rights P1000 budget. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- If the Commission on Human Rights wants to have its budget restored, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said the agency should justify its programs.

In a press conference on Friday, Alvarez said the CHR should submit a program on how they plan to protect human rights so lawmakers can assess whether the agency deserves a higher budget.

"Yung pagbabalik ng budget ng CHR eh magdedepende yan dun sa ibibigay nila sa amin na programa. Kung makita namin na maganda yung programa eh, bakit hindi?" he said.

Earlier this week the House of Representatives voted to slash the agency's budget to only P1,000 from from the original budget proposal of P623.38 million.

The move drew flak on social media with senators vowing to restore the agency's full budget.

Alvarez said being a constitutional body was not enough reason to given funding, saying the agency should fulfill its mandate as well.

Under the Constitution, the CHR is tasked to probe human rights violations involving civil and political rights.

"Hindi po tama na dahil constitutional body ka, na yung CHR 'no, ay pikit-mata na naming basta silang bibigyan ng budget," he said.

"Kung hindi nila ginagawa yung tungkulin nila, bakit namin sila bibigyan ng budget?" he added.

The budget bill of the CHR still has to go through the Senate and the bicameral conference committee before it is signed by the President.