SPEAKER Lord Allan Velasco on Monday vowed to push for legislation promoting human rights to adequate food and equal opportunities as he led the House of Representatives in commemorating the Human Rights Consciousness Week.
The weeklong event, observed every December 4-10 of the year pursuant to Republic Act 9201, aims to raise awareness on the basic and fundamental human rights, and to propagate a human rights culture toward sustainable development in the country.
“Today (Monday), we gather together in the midst of a deadly pandemic, in the midst of proliferation of fake news, hunger, and disrespect for the rights of women, children, and members of LGBT+ and IP (indigenous people) communities. But in the midst of this darkness, light persists,” Velasco said, addressing House officials and employees during Monday’s flag-raising ceremony.
“We gather together every year to mark Human Rights Week because we believe that there can be no lasting prosperity without respect for human rights,” he added.
In order to advance human rights, Velasco said the House under his leadership has put among its priority legislation the Right to Adequate Food Bill and the proposed Anti-Ethnic, Racial and Religious Discrimination Act.
“These are just some ways our humble institution could ensure that life, truth, and light could persist,” Velasco pointed out.
The Right to Adequate Food Bill establishes a framework recognizing that a person suffering from hunger or undernutrition is entitled to a minimum amount of food according to one’s age, sex, health status and occupation.
The proposed Anti-Ethnic, Racial and Religious Discrimination Act, on the other hand, provides for the creation of the Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity Committee by agencies, corporations, companies and educational institutions.
The HRep Human Rights Consciousness Week 2020 celebration was organized by the House Committee on Human Rights, chaired by Quezon City Rep. Jesus “Bong” Suntay.
This year’s celebration is scheduled from December 7 to 11 under the theme “Recover Better, Stand Up for Human Rights: We Heal As One.”