LGBT rights activists in the Philippines have greeted President Aquino’s third state of the union address with protests today (Monday 23).
The gay-friendly Metropolitan Community Church of Quezon City joined thousands of protestors marching down Commonwealth Avenue.
The church’s Reverend Ceejay Agbayani said he was protesting about the failure of the president to pass a reproductive health bill that would halt the rise of death in childbirth.
Meanwhile ProGay Metro Baguio and the Baguio Pride Network gathered outside Baguio General Hospital to demonstrate their disapproval for government policy that is ‘converting public hospitals into profit-orientated corporations’, ProGay said.
Secretary General of ProGay Metro Baguio Clyde Pumihic said:
‘Poor gay men and transgenders depend on hospitals like the Baguio General Hospital for affordable health care, and we fear that corporatizing and farming out medical procedures can only mean that a few years from now we stop having access to free or affordable tests and treatments.’
The gay rights activist issued their own address to counter the president’s which they call the State of the Philippine LGBT under Aquino (SOPLA).
‘After two years in power the Aquino administration has proven to be even worse than the past Arroyo regime in terms of human rights violations and the destruction of the people’s livelihood,’ the statement reads.
The statement includes five demands for the government to:
- Pass the Anti-Discrimination Act that has been stalled in congress for 12 years,
- Stop the privatization of hospitals,
- Increase the healthcare budget including an extra 14 billion Pesos ($333 million , â‚¬275 million) for prevention and treatment programs for HIV and AIDS,
- Investigate and punish the police for illegal raids on gay establishments and stop police harassment of LGBT people,
- Stop privatisation of state colleges and universities, halt tuition fee hikes and increase the budget for education.