This Pride Month, the Akbayan party has once again called for the final passage of the SOGIE Equality bill, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.
The bill is currently pending in the House and Senate, the latter authored by Sen. Risa Hontiveros and is still waiting to be discussed in plenary. Its version just passed the House at the committee level.
“Matagal nang natapos ang debate. Kung tutuusin, hindi naman dapat pinagdedebatihan ang karapatang pantao,” said Akbayan Party President Rafaela David.
“Our elected officials should remember that they represent the people and not their conservative religious affiliations. The SOGIE Equality Bill is about acceptance and love. Kung may pagmamahal ang mga nakaupo sa pwesto sa mga mamamayang pinaglilingkuran nila, matagal na sanang naipasa ang batas na ito.”
It was more than 23 years ago when then Rep. Etta Rosales (Akbayan party-list) filed the first SOGIE Equality bill. The furthest it has reached is its passage to final reading in the House.
All of this comes after the Senate passed the controversial Maharlika Investment Fund, which critics see as potentially abusive. For its advocates, it can be used for economic growth.
SOGIE bill pushed again this Pride Month
David first called the Maharlika Fund the “largest investment scam”, with initial funding from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. and Land Bank and Development Bank of the Philippines.
The bill was first amended to prevent the Social Security System (sss), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) to invest in it because of the fear of senators and pensioners.
It can be remembered that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr certified the Maharlika Fund bill as urgent.
“Sinabi ni senator Joel Villanueva, hindi raw urgent ang SOGIE Equality Bill. Paanong hindi naging urgent ang pagtatanggol ng karapatan ng bawat Pilipino?” said David.
“May mas importante pa ba dito? Nakakalungkot na uunahin pa ng gobyernong ito ang pagpopondo sa isang investment fund, kaysa sa pagbibigay ng karapat-dapat na proteksyon sa ating mga kababayan mula sa LGBTQIA+ community. A sad case of money over people.”