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PIA Press Release

Election for barangay human rights officers set on assembly day

Cagayan de Oro City (13 October) -- To strengthen human rights advocacy at the barangay level, an election for Barangay Human Rights Action Officers (BHRAOs) in every barangay nationwide is scheduled on October 21 during the staging of Barangay Assembly Day. The BHRAO election will be among the activities lined up during the assembly.

Guidelines for the election are contained in a joint memorandum circular by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued to all provincial governors, city and municipal mayors, punong barangays and DILG regional and field officers.

Under the guidelines, the Punong Barangays shall first notify all barangay residents at least five days before the Barangay Assembly Day that there will be an election of BHRAO and what are its qualifications.

Qualified to run are barangay residents who are not less than 21 years old; must be persons known for their probity and integrity; must not be elective or appointive officials of government; at least high school graduate; committed to the cause of human rights; willing to undergo BHRAO training; and once elected, must not engage in partisan political activities.

The qualification for educational attainment may be waived in case nobody meets the qualification if only to ensure that every barangay elects a BHRAO.

Mode for election shall be through viva voce, which shall be supervised by the Punong Barangay and the members of the Sangguniang Barangay. The Punong Barangay shall receive nominations from any member present during the barangay assembly. Only those present during the assembly may be nominated as BHRAO. Incumbent BHRAOs may run for the re-election.

BHRAOs are tasked to oversee the operations of the Barangay Human Rights Action Centers (BHRACs). Designed by the CHR, the BHRAC serves as center for complaints processing, information/education and coordination center on human rights issues and concerns in the barangay. The BHRAC program basically aims to empower the ordinary citizens to take the lead in the promotion and protection of human rights at the barangay level.

DILG-10 Regional Director Quirino Libunao is once again enjoining all Punong Barangays in the region to conduct the Barangay Assembly Day in their respective localities, with the holding of the BHRAO election, pursuant to Section 397 of the Local Government Code of 1991 (RA 7160).

He also calls for them to revitalize and strengthen the BHRAC program of their respective barangay in order to effectively address its human rights concerns. (DILG-10 / RAGCOM) [top]

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