LGBTQ+ community leaders, activists and organizations met with Pasig City officials and workers for a roundtable discussion and community consultation last 10 November to work on and to lobby for the passage of an anti-discrimination ordinance (ADO) in the city in the eastern part of Metro Manila.
Also present during the public deliberation was
Pasig 1st district councilor Rhichie Brown, who has been pushing for an ADO since 2014 to protect the LGBTQ+ community.
LGBTQ+ advocates who attended the meeting included Naomi Fontanos, executive director and co-founder of Gender and Development Advocates (GANDA) Filipinas; Vince Liban of the Pilipinas Anti-Discrimination Alliance of Youth Leaders (PANTAY); Marie Rose Ramos, deputy executive director of GALANG (Philippines); Terry Bernardo, creative officer of Amarela Philippines and vice president of Kabataang Tambuli; Jervin Ventura of Kabataang Tambuli LGBT Affairs and Buting Gay Organization; Kael Mata of Positibong Pasigueño. Other advocates and allies of the city were also involved in the discussion.
Brown admitted that the ADO is long overdue. The first attempt to introduce a similar ordinance has been unsuccessful under the administration of the Eusebios, long considered a “political dynasty” in Pasig City.
Now, with Mayor Vico Sotto, the prospect of the ADO looks brighter. Brown vowed to defend the Pasig City ADO at the city council.
If the ordinance is passed, Pasig will be added to the increasing number of local government units (LGU) with ADOs which penalize discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and sex characteristics (SOGIESC).
The latest cities that have passed their ADOs are Zamboanga City and Manila.
A national law banning SOGIESC-based discrimination is still languishing in Congress and the Senate as the Philippine LGBTQ+ community continues to experience violence, abuse and even death because of their SOGIESC.
Sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Risa Hontiveros, the SOGIE Equality Bill is opposed by Senate President Tito Sotto and Sen. Joel Villanueva and Sen. Manny Pacquiao,
Pacquiao who once described the LGBTQ+ people as worse than animals.