The NAGKAISA Labor Coalition, a united alliance championing workers' rights and well-being, passionately supports the initiative to bolster the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) budget for 2024.
Our backing also extends to ensuring fair compensation for the 69 trade union leaders and organizers who tragically lost their lives, as reported during the last ILO-High Level Mission in January 2023. In a conversation with Senator Risa Hontiveros, NAGKAISA is proposing at least P10M for victims of TU killings to be given to their heirs and primary beneficiaries.
In 2022, CHR allocated P16 million in financial assistance, aiding a substantial 805 victims. As of the first half of 2023, P3.36 million has already been disbursed to assist 232 victims. Senators Risa Hontiveros and Raffy Tulfo in the upper chamber and Muntinlupa City Representative Jaime Fresnedi and Minority Floor Leader Edcel Lagman Sr of Albay in the House of Representatives lend their unwavering support to restoring CHR's original proposed budget for financial assistance.
The 1987 Philippine Constitution primarily gave CHR the mandate to protect and promote the rights and dignity of every human being in the country. Compensation for victims is an integral part of its broad task. Throughout the last ILO-HLTM and numerous engagements with DOLE, the NAGKAISA Labor Coalition did not only call for respect for TU and human rights but also has persistently called for investigations and accountability for those responsible for the killings of TU leaders/organizers, as well as other violations of freedom of association, including compensation for victims or their beneficiaries.
We earnestly call upon legislators and all concerned parties in the Marcos administration to heed the call for increased funding for the CHR and the rightful compensation for labor union leaders and organizers who are victims of violence.