Siquijor Rep. Rav Rocamora is expecting a deadlock on the Commission on Human Rights’ P1,000 budget cut during the bicameral conference panel’s deliberations on the proposed 2018 national budget.
House of Representatives (Credits: Houstimowparagas.files.wordpress.com | Manila Bulletin File Photo)
The member of President Duterte’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) party said the bicameral conference committee will be having hard time reconciling the House and Senate versions of the proposed national budget as the Lower Chamber insisted to provide a measly P1,000 budget for the CHR.
“Pag nag insist ang Senate sa P5.091-million budget and on the other hand the House will insist on the P1,000, may impasse dyan so that means ang mangyari dyan, ma-reenacted (If the Senate insisted a P5.091 million budget and on the other hand, the House will insist on the P1,000, there will be an impasse, then the budget will be reenacted),” Rocamora said in a radio interview.
“If reenacted, what will happen is that the CHR will have bigger budget because the agency had a budget of P700 million last year or for 2017,” he explained.
The CHR’s proposed budget for next year is lower than this year’s P725 million. The 2018 budget is P678 million.
Rocamora, who voted against giving the CHR P1,000 budget, warned that the House’s position is tantamount to abolishing the Commission.
“Definitely, I’m sure someone will question this before the Supreme Court. Because as I’ve said, you cannot abolish constitutionally created office without amending the Constitution,” he said.
He said the Lower Chamber’s decision of giving a measly budget to the CHR “is not helping the administration.”
“Because it’s clear that by doing so, by giving budget of P1,000, you are practically abolishing an institution which is put there by the Constitution itself. And you cannot change anything in the Constitution without amending the Constitution. You cannot go around that process of amending the Constitution,” Rocamora said.
Senators, led by Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, vowed to restore the CHR’s proposed P678 million budget for 2018 and opposed the House’s position.