Running mates Senator Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson and Senate President Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III vowed to make gender equity a matter of policy should they win in the 9 May elections.
Lacson and Sotto told a town hall meeting in Zamboanga City that they are supportive of people who identify with the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) sector as well as other non-binary individuals, especially those who are contributing positively to their communities.
They backed the approval of Senate Bill 689 or the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill, also known as the Anti-Discrimination Bill.
“Treat everyone as normal as we can, as being members of the society at large. Dapat pare-pareho… Wala nang iisipin LGBTQ ‘yan o kaya heterosexual ‘yan—wala na. Kaya nga sabi ko two words: Gender equality. Ganoon dapat ang pananaw nating lahat,” Lacson said.
Lacson added that respect must reign supreme among Filipinos regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. Sotto held a similar view, adding that the government must lead the efforts to implement state policies against all kinds of discrimination.
Both public servants assured that under their administration, everyone will be given equal employment opportunities based on their skills and competence irrespective of their gender, physical traits, religion or group affiliations.
“Ayaw natin na nagkakaroon ng diskriminasyon. Mayroon kaming tinatawag ni Senator Lacson na programa, ‘yung tinatawag na skills matching. So, kahit sino ka pa, kahit ano pa gender mo, kahit ikaw ay pilay o kahit ikaw ay PWD (person with disability), kung mayroon kang skill na nagma-match doon sa trabaho dapat papasok ka, dapat tatanggapin ka,” Sotto said.
The skills matching program, which will be implemented through the National ID system and plans for the digitalization of government transactions of Lacson, is intended to provide Filipinos more access to equal job and livelihood opportunities.
“Dapat isa lamang at pantay-pantay. Hindi pwedeng may discrimination. ‘Yun ang bottomline. ‘Yung mga detalye, ‘yun ang medyo may mga debate, kasi ayaw din naman natin na bigyan ng espesyal na atensyon ang mga LBGTQ. Baka mamaya sa halip na sabihin nating ‘equal’ magkaroon pa lalo ng feeling na ‘bakit kami binibigyan ng special attention?’” according to Lacson.