The activity was well attended with sixty-eight (68) participants representing thirty-two (32) government agencies/offices, which were shortlisted as key to the development of the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (NAP-BHR), including the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, including key representatives from partner institutions.
The consultation-workshop was facilitated by Undersecretary Severo Catura, PHRC Executive Director and managed by the PHRC secretariat assisted by UNDP, HSF and CHR. The one-day activity held key sessions that included: Overview and Prospects for the Continued Viability of a NAP-BHR, UN Guidelines on Developing a NAP-BHR (nuanced with the UN Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty), Samples of NAPs on BHR adopted by other Countries, The Philippine Development Plan (PDP): Its Relevance to the Development of a NAP-BHR, Strengthening Regulatory Operations of the Business Sector along Human Rights Principles, Small Group Workshop and Presentation of Outputs (per agency), and Ways Forward and Closing Remarks.
The representative of each government agency presented the results of their workshop specifically for Pillar 3 (State Duty to Protect) and Pillar 4 (Access to Effective Remedies) of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as well as Gaps/Challenges. This was a good opportunity to level-off the priority agenda and development thrusts of the current administration under the leadership of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
One notable outcome of the activity was the information shared by the representative from the Office of the Cabinet Secretary that the results of the consultation-workshop will be incorporated in the development of the Philippine Development Plan for 2017-2022, which received a positive response from the participants and partner institutions.
In its Opening Message, the HSF representative mentioned that the process of crafting a Philippine Action Plan on BHR shall be in accordance with the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) for 2017-2022 anchored on the government’s long-term vision dubbed as “Ambisyon Natin 2040,” as well as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and Extreme Poverty, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She also shared that this government consultation-workshop is the second of a three-part series that began with civil society (CSOs) that was held last 26 October 2016, and to be followed by another one with the business sector within the month.
For the Ways Forward, Undersecretary Catura underscored the commitment of the government on the development of the NAP-BHR in the near future.