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House to prioritize legislation on human rights, freedom

December 10, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 258 views

THE House of Representatives, under the leadership of Speaker Martin G. Romualdez, is committed to passing legislation in the 19th Congress that will strengthen human rights and protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of every Filipino citizen.

This is according to House Committee on Human Rights chairman and Manila Representative Bienvenido “Benny” Abante Jr., who, on Human Rights Day, said that House leadership and the chamber’s members were supportive of the panel’s priority legislative agenda.

“Since the committee was organized last month, we have been working on quickly reconciling the differences in the measures referred to us so that these can be approved and passed at the soonest possible time,” Abante said.

Abante said that the panel’s discussions “have been fruitful and I consider the different perspectives of our members something that helps improve the legislation we are currently tackling.”

“The important thing is we all care deeply about human rights, and ensuring that our constituents – the Filipino people – benefit from the measures we pass,” Abante said.

“This, I believe, is a sentiment shared by House leadership and our colleagues in the House of Representatives,” Abante added.

Among the measures, the panel has tackled in the past week are bills that (1) define the rights and fundamental freedoms of human rights defenders; (2) recognize individuals, groups, and organs of society that promote and protect human rights; and (3) protect the right of the people to freedom of religion in the Philippines.

Abante said he expects the human rights panel to be even more productive in the months to come following the passage of the national budget.

Human Rights Day is observed every year on December 10 to commemorate the day the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

Adopted on December 10, 1948, the UDHR is a document that states everyone’s inalienable rights, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinions, national or social origin, property, birth, or other status. Available in more than 500 languages, the UDHR is the most translated document in the world.