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BU launches Center for Human Rights Education

In its continued advocacy to inculcate human rights education, Bicol University College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (BUCSSP), in partnership with the Commission on Human Rights region V, launched the Center for Human Rights Education (CHRE) on May 27, 2022.

This is a step towards introducing human rights education by encouraging students, faculty, and non-teaching staff through instruction, research, and extension. By promoting social fairness, maintaining democratic and good governance principles, and providing human rights protection services, the center hopes to improve and strengthen human rights education in the region.

The program started with a ribbon cutting and blessing ceremonies presided by Rev. Fr. Mercurio Rivera. The event was also graced by other supportive institutional partners – Commission on Human Rights V Regional Director Atty. Arlene Q. Alangco and VP for Research, Development, and Extension Dr. Luis O. Amano, on behalf of the BU President’s absence due to an on-going business travel.

The second part of the program was held at the Arcilla Hall for the CHRE official launching. A short invocation was led by Prof. Gerardo B. Lawenko Jr. followed by Dr. Gina M. Oropesa, Chair of the Peace Studies Department, who gave the opening remarks.

To express its commitment, Atty. Alex B. Nepomuceno, CSSP Dean, defined human rights as the essence of humanity.

He further said that “Human rights is attached in the very nature of each one of us… the conglomeration of freedom, rights and liberties, enjoyment and exercise… as the foundational reason human rights is defined that way. “

He pointed out that no one has to risk their life to protect human rights. It all should begin by respecting each and everybody’s human rights to prevent abuses and violation.  

In response to this statement, a message of mutual support was delivered by Atty. Arlene Q. Alangco, CHR V Regional Director. The human rights advocate reminded the audience of the major role human rights upholds not just in the university, but also in the society.

“The future is ours. Our life is ours… In these challenging times, we have to hold hands together by joining and collaborate with each other in positive ways. It is only in this way that we may be able to move forward,” she said

On behalf of the BU President Arnulfo M. Mascariñas, Dr. Luis O. Amano delivered a message expressing the administration’s full support on the launching activity.

“As the president of the premier state university in the Bicol region, I am happy and honored to show and express my full support to this laudable activity. A Center that will focus on Human Rights education, is truly, a necessity. After all, the beginning of understanding one’s rights lies on being informed and educated. What better way to show how much we value freedom and democracy than educating and advocating for human rights?” he said.

The turnover of donated books and materials relevant to human rights education was conferred by the National Police College (NPC) – Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC). On behalf of PPSC President Dr. Ricardo F. De Leon, Cynthia C. Dionco, NPC Registrar and Chief of the Center for Peace and Human Rights, proclaimed a message of support for the establishment of CHRE in BU.

Statement of supports were also given by Atty. Kaye Patrice A. Chong, President of the BU Association of Non-Teaching Staff Inc., Daraga Campus, Prof. Rey Artimus P. Hinlo, President of the BUCSSP Faculty Club, Trishia Kayle F. Frivaldo, outgoing CSSP President, Alexandra D. Gonzaga, incoming CSSP President, Mark Louie A. Aler, outgoing USC Chairperson, and Asher Jade Azul, incoming USC Chairperson.

The program concluded with the closing remarks by Dr. Cesar A. Arao, Chair of the Political Science Department. Prof. Peter Adam Daet served as the emcee during the event. (Arnold C. Noda, CPRO)