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RHRC Pushed for the Enactment of IDPs Bills

Saturday, August 8, 2015

RHRC PUSHED FOR THE ENACTMENT OF INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS BILLS

Quezon City (11 Dec 2013)—We have to “maximize the protection of IDPs by the passage of the law protecting them,” pronounced RHRC Chairperson Algamar Latiph during the Forum on the Protection and Promotion of IDPs at Nograles Hall, House of Representiatives.

The forum was attended by legislators and their representatives: Congressman Guillermo A. Romarate, Jr., Chairperson of the House of Representatives Committee on Human Rights, Deputy Executive Secretary Teofilo S. Pilando, Jr., Presidential Human Rights Committee House Leadership Speaker Feliciano R. Belmonte, Senator Aquilino “Koko” D. Pimentel, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights Congressman Karlo Alexie B. Nograles, Vice-Chairman of the House of Representatives.

Also in the forum were UNHCR Bernard Kerblat, Geneva-based OHCHR Fiona Frazer, PAHRA’s Rose Trajano, other government agencies, Civil Society Organizations, and NGOs.

Chairperson Latiph presented the case for the urgent enactment of the bills citing, among others, that: “on January 2013, the number of IDPs due to armed conflict were 45,405. And 31,040 either went back to their homes or adapted to the areas they were displaced in.” Pending in the legsilative houses are Senate Bill No. 1050 and House Bill No. 239.

It should be reaclled that on May 29, 2013, the previous Rights of Internally Displaced Persons Act of 2013 was vetoed by President Benigno Aquino, III. One of the reasons is the determination of extent of damages that can be granted by the CHR.

“In terms of IDPs related to armed conflict, ARMM is the highest and there is now a trend, probably due to climate change, that calamity-related IDPs in the ARMM is also increasing.” CHR Chairsperson Etta Rosales supports for its speedy legislation for which the present legislators committed for its approval.

The participants to the forum, including the legislators, were impressed with RHRC’s database on IDPs after Jane Abdul of RHRC presented the statistical data on IDPs monitored and gathered by RHRC.

On the next day, Chairperson Latiph and Atty. Cej Jimenez, CHR Focal Person on IDPs, met to further push for the passage of the law and strong coordination between RHRC and CHR on IDPs

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