Philippines: House of Representatives approves internal displacement bill
|Publisher||Norwegian Refugee Council/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (NRC/IDMC)|
|Publication Date||3 February 2012|
|Cite as||Norwegian Refugee Council/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (NRC/IDMC), Philippines: House of Representatives approves internal displacement bill , 3 February 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4f2fd7482.html [accessed 19 April 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
The House of Representatives, the lower legislative house of the Philippines, has approved a bill seeking to protect the rights of internally displaced people in the country. The proposed Rights of Internally Displaced Persons Act of 2012 defines the state policy with regards to the provision of assistance and protection to people displaced by "armed conflict, generalised violence, violations of human rights, aggressive implementation of development projects and other man-made disasters" during all phases of displacement. As such the bill does not cover internal displacement caused by natural disasters.
Among the salient features of the bill are the criminalisation of arbitrary displacement, the provision of monetary compensation for lost or damaged property or for the death of family members, and the designation of the Philippines Commission on Human Rights (CHR) as the government's focal point for IDPs. The bill has now been filed at the Senate, for review by the Senate Justice and Human Rights Committee. Once both the House and the Senate agree on a common bill, it can be forwarded to the President who has then the power to sign it into law. However, earlier legislative attempts to strengthen IDP protection have failed to progress after being passed by the lower house.