Some positive developments in the advancement of the OPCAT:
The Philippine Senate, due to the insistence of Sen. Santiago that they continue their regular work on priority bills, has put internal discussions on hold. Yesterday, Sen. Santiago was able to introduce to the Senate plenary 3 out of the 5 treaties in the pipeline under the sponsorship of the Committee on Foreign Relations. The next two which she is poised to introduce is the OPCAT and the Japan-Philippines Technical Cooperation Treaty. The Department of Foreign Affairs has also transmitted a new priority list to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (a routine procedure between the DFA and the SCOFR) indicating three treaties which the executive has deemed important. The OPCAT is one of them.
These developments indicate that there is still a good chance the OPCAT will be approved within this congress. The UATC has already taken steps to respond to these opportunities. Aside from direct stakeholder interventions, our collective success will also depend on the political climate at the Senate.
For additional information on developments at the Philippine Senate, kindly refer to the link below:
Let us work and hope the best!
Ellecer Ebro Carlos
BALAY Rehabilitation Center, Inc.
URL:www.balayph.net & www.opcatph.org