Two local administrations in the Philippines have moved to protect LGBTI residents this week.
It comes as the country’s SOGIE (sexual orientation and gender identity expression) Equality Bill stagnates in the Senate.
The bill would make it illegal to deny access to public services, hire or dismiss, impede access to education, or harass a person based on SOGIE.
Baguio City Councilor Ed Avila on Tuesday (4 September) pushed to set up a dedicated LGBTI office in the city. If approved, city funds would support the office, according to the Sun Star.
Citing the lack of LGBTI protections in the country, the office would implement ‘policies, plans and programs for the LGBT development’, Avila said.
Importantly, it follows similar moves by other cities throughout the Philippines in the last year.
Similarly, Cavite Vice Governor Ramon Jolo Revilla III promoted a regional ordinance to protect residents from SOGIE-based discrimination.
The governor shared a video on Monday of the Provincial Ordinance No. 200. This is also known as the LGBTQ Community Protection and Recognition Ordinance. It was crafted by the Cavite provincial legislative council.
The Philippines’ first transgender lawmaker last week requested a congressional inquiry into the discrimination of a poplar LGBTI comedian.
It occurred after Jervi Li, more popularly known as Kaladkaren Davila, uploaded a video of a bouncer at H&J Sports Bar in Poblacion, Makati denying her entry.
‘I just filed a resolution directing the House Committee on Women and Gender Equality to conduct an inquiry into the possible discriminatory acts perpetrated by a Makati bar against Kaladkaren Davila and her friends,’ said lawmaker Geraldine Roman.
It prompted campaign group Yes to Equality to urge LGBTI and allies to demand that the Senate pass the Bill.
‘The SOGIE Equality Bill, delayed in the period of Senate Debates for 621 days, is now the longest-running interpellation in Senate history. Each delay keeps LGBTQIA+ Filipinos vulnerable to discrimination,’ it said.