Reigh John Bench Almendras
A female seen hoisting the LGBTQ++ flag in promotion of rights that support and defend individuals from discrimination. Photo courtesy of Jason Kyle Julian & Melody Jade Soriano of The LANCE.
Committee chair Senator Risa Hontiveros confirms the Senate committee on women, children, family relations, and gender equality has passed the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) Anti-Discrimination Bill on Tuesday, November 6.
The Makabayan Bloc filed the bill in October 2022. Through the SOGIESC Anti-Discrimination Bill, the State shall attempt to address discrimination, marginalization, and violence based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and sex characteristics.
Under the bill, violators may face a fine of P100,000 to P500,000 and possible imprisonment from one to 12 years.
The bill has been proposed since the 11th Congress. In the 19th Congress, Senators Risa Hontiveros, Loren Legarda, and Mark Villar refiled versions of the bill.
Quezon City, Manila City, Province of Bataan, Cebu City, Iloilo City, Davao City, Marikina City, and Zamboanga City already have SOGIE anti-discrimination ordinances, but a national law remains lacking.
Countries, such as Taiwan, Bolivia, Ecuador, Fiji, Malta, Spain, Canada, United Kingdom, and some states in the United States, have implemented laws that protect citizens regardless of their gender.