BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio Domogan last week created the Baguio City Human Rights Action Center (NHRAC) and organized the Baguio City Human Rights Action Team (BCHRAcT) to take charge of human rights concerns including human rights promotion and complaints on human rights violations.
The creation of the said center is in line with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR)’s Human Rights Action Center and Rule of Law (HRAC and RoL) strategy to mainstream human rights principles at the grassroots level and to enable the city government to undertake its mandate to respect, protect and fulfill human rights within its jurisdiction.
In Administrative Order No. 8 series of 2016, the mayor designated city administrator Carlos Canilao and acting city legal officer Melchor Carlos Rabanes as chair and co-chair respectively of the team with the city social welfare and development officer, city planning and development coordinator, city health services officer, city public information officer, Pnilippine National Police human rights affairs officer, schools division superintendent and the presidents of the Baguio Center for Young Adults and the Baguio City Federation of Persons with Disabilities as members.
The team will be tasked to develop and implement the human rights plan of the local government unit; propose to the Sanggunian the integration of human rights programs, projects and activities in the annual budget appropriation; recommend appropriate legislations to the Human Rights Committee of the Sanggunian; utilize available resources for human rights promotion activities at the City of Baguio; and spearhead and coordinate the implementation of human rights programs, projects and activities.
The team will also serve as hubs for Access to Justice Network; provide legal and /or paralegal assistance to victims of human rights violations; encourage participation of local government officials and CSOs in human rights promotion activities; mobilize sectoral groups and locally-based people’s organizations and civil society organizations in the community to participate in human rights activities; serve as information centers on Human Rights Programs and Services, including referral systems within the City level, among others.
The CHR-CAR headed by officer-in-charge regional director Romel Daguimol recently facilitated the organizational meeting of the BCHRAcT members led by Canilao.
He said the HRAC and RoL “widens the democratic space” for civil society, non-government and people’s organizations to be part of local governance particularly on addressing issues and concerns on human rights, rule of law and access to justice.
BCHRAcT’s formation is based on the Dept. of Interior and Local Government-CHR Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1 series of 2014 entitled Mainstreaming Human Rights through Rule of Law and Access to Justice at the Level of Provinces, Cities, Municipalities and Barangays./ A Refuerzo