Non-passage of 2018 budget, etcetera: Senators vow to fight CHR’s P1,000 budget

Image from Senate of the Philippines
  • Several senators vowed to reverse House’s P1,000 budget to human rights commission
  • Options mulled, including non-passage of 2018 budget
  • Looming clash in bicameral committee also expected

MANILA, Philippines – Amid a looming clash with the House of Representatives, several administration and opposition senators vowed to reverse the P1,000 budget given by the lower House to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

Sen. Ping Lacson, sponsor of the CHR’s P678 million budget in the Senate, said he is up for the challenge.

“I happen to be the sponsor of the CHR budget in the Senate, along with a few other agencies like the DND, ARMM, etc. I accept the challenge,” ABS-CBN quoted him as saying.

Other senators, including Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Bam Aquino, JV Ejercito, and Sonny Angara, reminded the House that the CHR is a constitutionally-created body mandated to monitor cases of human rights violations by the government and serve as a check against state power.

For his part, Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said they are also mulling the possible non-passage of the 2018 budget—a move which would mean the reenactment of the prior year’s budget.

“We are committed to oppose such moves by restoring the CHR budget in the Senate even if it means the non-passage of the 2018 budget and the reenactment of the 2017 budget wherein funding for the CHR is assured,” he said.

Under Par. 7, Section 25, Article VI of the Constitution, “If, by the end of any fiscal year, the Congress shall have failed to pass the general appropriations bill for the ensuing fiscal year, the general appropriations law for the preceding fiscal year shall be deemed re-enacted and shall remain in force and effect until the general appropriations bill is passed by the Congress.”

Sen. Risa Hontiveros, on the other hand, said senators are expected to butt heads with their House counterparts over the budget in the bicameral committee.