Sen. Sonny Angara addressed on Sunday to ratify the implementation of the Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination bill that seeks a basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression (SOGIE). The bill was approved on September of lat year, wherein the congressmen voted unanimously, 198-0-0, to pass the SOGIE Equality Act in the Lower House on its third and final reading.
The Senate Bill 948 seeks to penalize discriminatory practices based on age, racial or ethnic origin, religious belief or activity, political inclination or conviction, social class, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expressions, marital or relationship status, disability, HIV status, health status or medical history, language, physical features, or other status.
In a statement of Sen. Angara, he urged the Filipinos to protect each other against all forms of discrimination in order to promote equal protection and equal opportunity.
“Any form of discrimination threatens social instability and economic progress in our country. It is our hope that through this bill, discrimination will be eliminated,” Angara said.
The bill, originally known as the anti-discrimination bill, was first filed in the 11th Congress by Akbayan Representative Etta Rosales. It also seeks to prohibit certain discriminatory practices that harm members of the LGBTQ community. It also hopes to penalize the denial of political, civil and cultural rights; denial of the right to education, right to work, right to organize, right to expression; and, denial of access to goods and services such as medical services, insurance, and housing.
Under the bill, any discriminatory acts can be fined of not less than P100,000 but not more than P500,000, or imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than six years or both, depending on the court’s decision