House panel approves SOGIE equality bill
The committee approval of the bill was confirmed by Gabriela party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas on Tuesday, after the said panel deliberated the TWG report.
The TWG report consolidated House Bills No. 222, 460, 3418, 3702, 4277, 5551, 6003 & 7036 — similar bills seeking to prohibit discrimination of people on the basis of their SOGIESC.
“We, in the Gabriela Women’s Party, laud the committee approval of the [SOGIESC] Equality Bill. This is a step towards the long-overdue enactment of legislation which will prohibit all forms of discrimination and harassment against the LGBTQIA+ community,” Brosas said.
“Naninindigan kami na karapatan ng bawat miyembro ng LGBTQIA+ na makatamasa ng pantay na karapatan sa edukasyon, trabaho, serbisyong kalusugan, at iba pa ng walang takot at pangamba,” she added.
(We maintain that it is the right of each member of the LGBTQIA+ community to enjoy fair rights in education, in the workplace, in healthcare services, without the fear.)
Under the consolidated version of the bill, here are some of the following actions deemed discriminatory of a person’s SOGIESC:
- Advertising, producing, and publishing materials promoting, encouraging, and perpetuating stigma or inciting violence and sexual abuse against any person or group on the basis of SOGIESC
- Denying access to public services to any person on the basis of SOGIESC;
- Including SOGIESC, as well as the disclosure of one’s SOGIESC, in the criteria for hiring, promotion, transfer, designation, work assignment, re-assignment,
- Refusing admission or expelling a person from any educational or training institution, such as police and military academies or training institutions, on the basis of SOGIESC
- Imposing disciplinary sanctions, penalties harsher than customary or similar punishments, requirements, restrictions, or prohibitions that infringe on the rights of the students on the basis of SOGIESC
The SOGIESC proposal has been forwarded several times, but it has not been approved by both the House and the Senate — prompting several sectors to express concerns about the slow pace of the bill.
Last March 4, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) sought answers on the status of the bill in Congress.
Bataan 1st District Rep. Geraldine Roman — chairman of the committee on women and gender equality — also aired concerns about the bill’s sluggish pace in the Senate.
Brosas said that they hope both chambers of Congress heed the call of the people to pass the SOGIESC Equality Bill.
“It is our hope that the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate will heed the call of the Filipino people by passing this important legislation as soon as possible to address the long-standing discrimination against LGBTQIA+ in Philippine society,” she said.