“The CHRP reports that, despite the inconsistent budget allocation, it has been able to perform in accordance with its mandate and has utilized between 95%-100% of the annual budget allocated.
The CHRP also reports that, for 2023, it has received more than 1 billion pesos and continues to advocate for budgetary increases.
The CHRP reports that it has also made efforts to advocate for stronger financial autonomy in the proposed CHR Charter and for an increase of its budget, to further expand its work in new areas such as strategic litigation.
The SCA emphasizes that, to function effectively, an NHRI must be provided with an appropriate level of funding in order to guarantee its ability to freely determine its priorities and activities. In particular, adequate funding should, to a reasonable degree, ensure the gradual and progressive realization of improvement in the NHRI’s operations and the fulfilment of its mandate.
Provision of adequate funding by the State should, at a minimum, include the following:
a) the allocation of funds for premises which are accessible to the wider community, including for persons with disabilities. In certain circumstances, in order to promote independence and accessibility, this may require that offices are not co-located with other government agencies.
Where possible, accessibility should be further enhanced by establishing a permanent regional presence;
b) salaries and benefits awarded to its staff comparable to those of civil servants performing similar tasks in other independent institutions of the State;
c) remuneration of members of its decision-making body (where appropriate);
d) the establishment of a well-functioning communications system including telephone and internet; and
e) the allocation of a sufficient amount of resources for mandated activities. Where the NHRI has been designated with additional responsibilities by the State, additional financial resources should be provided to enable it to assume the responsibilities of discharging these functions.
The SCA notes further that Section 36 of the proposed CHR Charter would strengthen the CHRP’s fiscal autonomy. The SCA is of the view that this proposal, if passed in its present form, would address the SCA’s previously stated concerns. The SCA therefore recommends that the CHRP continues to advocate for the passage of the above provisions in the proposed CHR Charter.
The SCA also recommends that the CHRP continue to advocate for an appropriate level of funding to effectively fulfil its mandate.
The SCA refers to Paris Principle B.2 and to its General Observation 1.10 on ‘Adequate funding.’”