PRESIDENTIAL Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) commissioner Norman Baloro urged President Rodrigo Duterte to sign an executive order for the creation of a separate office in the government that would mainly focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) affairs.
“Kung naa tay mga persons with disability na mga balaod, naay mga youth and children, women, solo parent, naay senior citizens, nganong dili maghimo para sa LGBT community? (If we have existing laws and ordinances for youth and children, women, solo parents, and senior citizens, why can’t we not have one for the LGBT community?),” he said.
Baloro mentioned that the House Bill No. 4982 or the Act Prohibiting Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity or Expression (Sogie) and Providing Penalties is slowly losing its voice in Congress so the PCUP made a draft that would continue to protect the LGBT community from discrimination, hence, the request for a separate office for them or even the passage of local ordinances.
Sogie Bill was pushed earlier by 1st District of Bataan Representative Geraldine Roman.
“I think that this is the right time that we have our President who is gender-sensitive and responsive. Sooner or later, the drafted EO will be realized,” he said.
“We should be politically recognized, too. There should be a national umbrella [that would] address concerns of the LGBT community,” he added.
Baloro said that the draft is still under consultation and dialogues between involved parties are being held but they are optimistic about it. As to the SOGIE bill, he said that they are still looking for more support.
He said there is urgency in the signing of the EO and in the passage of the bill since discrimination among members of the LGBT community among the work places and other establishments have been increasing.