In relation to the article “CHR calls for creation of ombudsman for children (9 February 2006)” published in the Manila Times, while the Commission rightly speaks of the need to establish an Ombudsman for children, I have a very deep reservations of how it would function in the future.
To set up an Ombudsman for children and how to effectively implement to reach its objective are two different things.
With a huge amount of P34 million grant, the physical set-up and facilities for this proposed Ombudsman may sustain but the very objective of its existence would face huge challenges in the future, in particular the agency and people who would implement it.
What assurance do we get from the Commission to stand as a temporary Ombudsman when it couldn’t even or struggling to effectively implement its own initiated program? Even if it would be taken over by would-be create agency, the reality of how our agencies are handling their programme is putting its affectivity in question.
If we recall, in early 90s the Commission and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) signed a memorandum of agreement to form the Barangay Human Rights Action Center (Bhrac). Years on, the output of the objective to accept complaints and respond to case of human rights violations in barangays is completely negligible.
Another thing, what happened to the Commission’s effort to integrate the
Rights Based Approach (RBA) in levels of government agencies? It reminds me of the Commission’s staff who express her frustrations for not considering the objective of RBA in the government’s budget allocation but she has done little to raise the issue in public in order to assert radical reform.
Any proposed programme for protection of human rights deserves strong support when it reaches its desirable aim, but it’s meaningless when those who are supposed to benefit from it could not enjoy it. Essential to this is a deep understanding by the agency and the people implementing it and holding them accountable should they fail.
links to this news:
CHR calls for creation of ombudsman for children