House bill penalizing ethnic, religious discrimination re-filed in Congress
MANILA, Philippines – Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman has re-filed House Bill No. 3526 or the Equality and Non-Discrimination on Race, Ethnicity and Religion Act.
To expedite the bill’s passing, Hataman has urged House Speaker Martin Romualdez to include House Bill No. 3526 in the lower house’s priority legislative agenda, since it already passed the final reading during the 18th Congress but failed to reach Senate approval.
“I call on the leadership of the House and the rest of my colleagues to consider this measure an urgent one and pass it into law this time around,” said Hataman in a statement on Friday.
Hataman lamented that the bill was not passed, stressing the bill’s urgency for the protection of Muslim groups and indigenous people (IP).
“Sayang at hindi natin ito naipasa noong nakaraang Kongreso, pero may pagkakataon tayong muli na maisabatas ito. Dahil hangga’t hindi natin ito nagagawa, patuloy na dadami ang biktima ng diskriminasyon sa ating mga kababayan, lalo na sa hanay ng mga kapatid nating Moro at IPs,” said Hataman.
(It was a missed opportunity that it was not passed during the previous Congress, but there is a chance to turn this into law. As long as we do not take action on this, there will be more victims of discrimination among our citizens, including our Moro and IPs).
The said bill sets a punishment of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to P100,000 for those who are found guilty of racial, ethnic and religious discrimination in the areas of political participation, employment, education, mass media, and more.
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