Re-affirming the Traditional Democratic Values of Public Service in Aid of Mainstreaming Human Rights within the (Philippine) Government
October 14,2014   By:CSHRS

Nolivienne C. ERMITA?O

Nowadays, it is quite common to hear about, or read about, human rights in the realm of officialdom.  Like gossip, human rights have acquired a great deal of currency; in fact, they are now a staple of daily political discourse and in most cases, are claimed to be important considerations embedded in the activities and processes of government.  But recent studies show that while the Philippines is arguably substantially compliant with many of the core human rights conventions to which it has acceded, it still has a long way to go before it can effect thorough institutional learning throughout the various agencies of government. 

Understandably, the full incorporation of the human rights paradigm into the operations of  government is necessarily a long, tedious, and difficult process, and progress should be expected to proceed only in an incremental fashion (And quite unfortunately, this is a reality that many civil society organizations of the more militant variety are too impatient to appreciate or acknowledge).  Be that as it may, there's no harm in re-examining the effectiveness of the modalities employed in infusing the public sector organizations with a human rights perspective; after all, the pace of institutional learning is, to a considerable extent, a function of proper instruction. 

It can be argued that such infusion fails to achieve its intended impact because the human rights paradigm is just one of many recent paradigms to be imposed as a learning requirement on the public sector organizations.  As it is, the public sector organizations are already overwhelmed – and perhaps, 'punch-drunk' – with a multiplicity of paradigms with which they have to familiarize themselves as a matter of expediency, and for this reason, they are having difficulty absorbing more and integrating everything.