LAWMAKERS expressed elation over the decision of the House leaders to restore the budget of three agencies, including the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).
Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin and Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat Jr. said the will of the people prevailed.
House committee on appropriations chairman Karlo Nograles earlier announced that he had given signal to endorse the restoration of the budget of the CHR, Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP).
During the budget deliberation in the plenary, the three agencies were given each P1,000 as budget for 2018.
The heads of the three agencies appealed to Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
The breakthrough was achieved after CHR Chair Jose Luis “Chito” Gascon, ERC Commissioner Geronimo Sta. Ana and NCIP Chair Leonor Oralde-Quintayo sought the help of House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas and Nograles to act as bridge between them and Speaker Alvarez.
According to Villarin, the will of the people made the House leaders backtrack.
“Using the budget as a political weapon against those critical of the administration or to demand submission by heads of agencies to Congress will create gridlocks and will not work for the interest of the people,” Villarin said.
“Given the negative backlash on the leadership of the House and with the Senate restoring the CHR budget to what was originally proposed, they have to backtrack and restore the CHR’s budget due to a strong public clamor,” he added.