Aimed to build a culture of human rights in the academe, Tarlac State University and the Commission on Human Rights-Regional Office III (CHR) entered a memorandum of agreement on Tuesday afternoon (July 5, 2022) at the TSU Hotel in Lucinda Campus.
TSU will strengthen and establish human rights education as its advocacy through the said partnership.
Furthermore, the Centre for Human Rights Education (CHRE) aims to be developed as a national social laboratory for human rights education.
"Tarlac State University affirms its commitment to the CHR's memorandum of agreement. The national roadmap for Public Higher Education will speed up as a result, leading to the creation of new knowledge and skills," TSU President Dr. Arnold E. Velasco said in his message during the program.
"It is commended that this opportunity will give both parties a chance to boost the promotion of human rights in areas where tools might hasten the emergence of a culture of human rights not just at TSU but also among other academic communities," he added.
With the signed agreement, the university is expected to hold human rights education activities for students, faculty, and staff, as well as develop information, education, and communication materials on access to justice.
Likewise, CHR shall establish capacity-building activities for the university's staff, volunteers, faculty members, and student organizations.
As the agreement strengthens the primacy of human rights and the provision of legal measures for human rights protection, the TSU School of Law (SOL), through its dean Atty. Jose I. Dela Rama Jr., fully supports upholding human rights education in the university.
"The SOL and CHR have been working on how we could help one another in their mission. The MOA was halted due to the pandemic. As early as 2016, when I was first appointed as dean, the first thing that [we] did was the creation of an office which is called Center for Human Rights and Legal Aid. It has been my advocacy to promote justice and full respect for human rights in a balanced way. Our students must know what is happening in the community so we can readily help those who seek justice," Dean Dela Rama said in an interview.
According to him, the agreement will allow faculty members and students to strive and learn more outside the four corners of their classrooms.
"It is better to learn and serve justice if our students can personally experience the plight of our poor litigants; serve justice if our students can," he said.
"We have an international declaration of human rights, and in fact, we have law subjects about human rights. It teaches us to be more vigilant in protecting our bill of rights, which is guaranteed by the constitution," Dean Dela Rama added.