PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has created a special committee on Lesbian Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA+) affairs as the government aims to reinforce diversity and inclusion.
Executive Order 51, signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin on December 22, 2023, stated that Marcos saw the need to reinforce the Diversity and Inclusion Program (DIP) and reconstitute its Inter-Agency Committee “to ensure the country’s continues compliance with its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”
He said the creation of the special committee on LGBTQIA+ will strengthen existing mechanisms to address the continued discrimination against the community and provide its members an avenue to participate in policy formulation of the government.
“The Inter-Agency Committee on Diversity and Inclusion is hereby reconstituted as the Diversity and Inclusion Committee,” Marcos said, adding the committee will be led by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The secretaries of the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will co-chair the committee, while Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) secretary will serve as vice chair.
The Department of Education (DepEd) secretary will serve as a member along with the secretaries of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Health (DOH), and the chairpersons of the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) and the Special Committee on LGBTQIA+ Affairs.
Marcos said the committee will continue to perform its functions under its existing mandates, and may create, convene and reorganize sub-committees, and/or working groups to assist in the performance of its functions, subject to existing laws, rules and regulations.
The Special Committee on LGBTQIA+ Affairs, meanwhile, was formed under the Inter-Agency Committee with a rank of an undersecretary with three members with the rank of assistant secretary. They will all be appointed by the President from among members of reputable LGBTQIA+ community. (LMY/PR)