Public Officials and partners from the executive agencies and civil society for regions 6, 7 and 8 converged in Cebu City recently for the 4th area consultation on the National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRA).
Executive secretary Eduardo Ermita, chairman of the Presidential Human Rights Committee (PHRC), in a statement read by USEC Severo Catura, said "the consultation will put in place the much-needed public policies, programs, and resources with human rights standards."
The Cebu leg is the fourth in a series of area consultations since August 2009 and is palnned to end by December via a national summit, Catura added.
Catura, the executive director of PHRC further said, the area consultation is a problem solving mechanism. It aims to instill national ownership of the plan in as many stakeholders as possible.
"We are pushing for a new and a broader way of looking at human rights as it would impact the full development of our people and the nation as a whole," he said.
Ermita in his statement also said, the consultation hopes to address human rights issues at their roots. It involves more than identifying wrongdoers and exhorting government to improve on its obligations.
"Largely, we will venture to capacitate and empower all sectors of Philippine society to claim and extend these human rights obligations and entitlements, bringing out genuine improvement at all levels of governance in the country," Ermita stated.
Ermita added that the NHRAP becomes the expression of "our political will" and perhaps, one of the legacies of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to ensure that human rights protection and promotion becomes a matter of policy that will transcend politics. (PIA)