Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on the government’s initiative in rehabilitating the San Juan River

Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on the government’s initiative in rehabilitating the San Juan River

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) applauds the government’s effort to rehabilitate the San Juan River through the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) neighborhood upgrading program.

Various national and local government agencies are collaborating to rehabilitate the San Juan River, with the goal of addressing multifaceted challenges, revitalizing the river ecosystem, improving water quality, and promoting sustainable environmental practices.

The significance of this initiative resonates with the interconnectedness of environmental preservation and human rights, both fundamental pillars of sustainable development. A healthy and sustainable environment is an indispensable prerequisite for safeguarding the well-being and dignity of individuals. In recognition of this critical linkage, the Commission embarked on a National Inquiry on Climate Change, delving into the ramifications of environmental issues on the human rights of Filipinos. [https://bit.ly/NICCReport2022]

Moreover, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) protects the right to life and a standard of living adequate for health and well-being, rights from which the right to a healthy environment can be inferred. The Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ESCR) also states that the right to health embraces a wide range of socio-economic factors [including] access to safe and potable water and adequate sanitation, safe and healthy working conditions, and a healthy environment.

The Commission recognizes various national and local government agencies, particularly the MMDA, for taking the initiative to develop this San Juan River rehabilitation program. This represents a collective and tangible commitment to creating a more just, safe, and sustainable environment.

We believe that by conserving natural resources and mitigating the effects of climate change, we not only protect the rights of current times, but also contribute to the creation of an environment that supports the rights and well-being of future generations.