22 May 2017
Pia: PHL efforts to uphold socio-economic rights recognized at UNHRC
House Deputy Speaker Pia S. Cayetano delivered a privilege speech on Monday to highlight the country’s gains in promoting socio-economic rights which were reported to the 27th Universal Period Review of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) last May 8.
At the same time, Cayetano, a member of the Philippine delegation to the UNHRC in Geneva, said Congress would have to consider the recommendations of member-states concerning legislative measures related to all aspects of human rights.
She said a number of member-countries noted the progress made by the Philippines in ensuring that socio-economic rights are enjoyed by the greater majority of Filipinos.
The Taguig City lawmaker said these gains include the country’s relentless campaign against human trafficking, ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture, and upholding the rights and welfare of vulnerable groups, especially women and children.
She added that member-states likewise acknowledged the country’s efforts to promote inclusive development, especially in improving people’s access to quality education, health, and other social services.
“There are around 265 recommendations formulated during the interactive dialogue with the other member-states, which include recommendations for legislative measures that Congress would have to consider. These will be examined by our delegation which will endorse concerns to the respective offices and branches of government for further actions to take,” she explained.
Cayetano said the Philippine delegation led by his brother, then senator and recently confirmed foreign affairs secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, reported the country’s gains in all fronts and real numbers “to dispel allegations and correct misinformation spread by critics against the Philippine government’s campaign on illegal drugs.”
The delegation also affirmed the country’s respect for human rights and its determined pursuit of a human and holistic approach to development and governance.
“Our colleagues in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, who, by their own first-hand experience, are quite aware of the gravity of our illegal drug problem, have expressed support for our fight to rid our part of the world of the scourge of illegal drugs,” she related. “China has called on other States to join the Philippines in the campaign, and Japan has offered assistance in drug treatment programs and facilities.”
In addition to the UNHRC meeting in Geneva, Cayetano also met with European parliamentarians in Brussels and Spain. “They (EU parliamentarians) appreciated receiving accurate information about the current situation in the Philippines which they only read about in international media. I discussed with them common interests especially in the field of health, education and culture,” she said.