BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio Domogan recently created a Human Rights Action Team (CHRAcT) and at the same time establishing a Human Rights Action Center (HRAC)in the city of Baguio through Administrative Order 064.
It is recalled that the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Commission on Human Rights issued DILG-CHR joint memorandum circular no. 1; mainstreaming human rights through rule of law and access to justice at the level of provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays, mandating all LGUs to create their HRAcTs and establish HRACs.
Domogan stressed that the creation of the CHRAcT ensures that the LGU’s offices will operate in a human rights-based local services delivery and governance.
Moreover, the City Human Rights Action Center will be stationed at the office of the city legal officer, city hall where all human rights matters including human rights promotion and complaints of human rights violations will be acted upon.
The CHRAcT will be chaired by the city administrator and co-chaired by the city legal.
The members include the city social welfare and development officer, city planning and development coordinator, city health officer, city information officer, PNP human rights affair officer, school city superintendent, BHRAO association president and at least one representative from the civil society organizations/non-government organization/people’s organizations that advocate human rights.
The team will develop and implement the human rights plan of the LGU; propose to the sanggunian the integration of human rights programs, projects and activities in the annual budget appropriation; recommend appropriate legislation to the Human Rights Committee of the sanggunian; utilize available resource for human rights promotion activities at their respective LGU levels’ spearhead and coordinate the implementation of human rights programs, projects and activities; serve as hubs for access to Justice Network; posting of human rights programs, projects and activities at websites, bulletin boards and newsletters; provide legal and/or paralegal assistance to victim 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’ publish feature articles on various human rights concerns and issues in local government websites, newsletter and bulletin boards; strengthen linkages with the regional/field offices of CHR and DILG, other human rights service providers and civil society organizations in the implementation of human rights programs, projects and activities, among others.
In the order, Domogan enumerated the specific duties and responsibilities of the CHRAcT such as to provide technical inputs on human rights to the City Human Rights Committees, consolidate semestral human rights situationers reports submitted by the Barangay Human Rights Action Team (BHRAcT) and have it published in the city websites, newsletters and bulletin boards and submit the same to the CHR and DILG regional offices, assist the BHRAcT in referral of complaints of human rights violations to CHR regional offices and other agencies and monitoring their status, and assist the BHRAcTs in the conduct of human rights advocacy, information and education activities. /Jho Arranz