The Committee on Women and Gender Equality in the House of Representatives approved the bill that aims to eliminate discriminatory practices based on sex, sexual orientation or gender.
“It is a basic right of every person, whether they are bisexual, homosexual, or heterosexual, to be free from any form of discrimination. As a representative of a marginalized group in Congress and as a woman, I support House Bill 5687 and I push for equal opportunity for all,” said AAMBIS-Owa Party list Representative Sharon Garin, one of the sponsors of the measure.
Under HB 5687, it shall be unlawful for employers to include sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as the disclosure of sexual orientation, in the criteria for hiring, promotion, transfer, work assignment, dismissal of workers, and other human resource movement and other terms and conditions of employment.
Schools are not to refuse admission or expel a person on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Likewise, public or private medical and other health services shall not turn away a patient because of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity.
Government shall ensure that no one will be denied of a professional license, clearance certification or any other similar document due to the applicant’s sexual orientation.
Violators shall be penalized with not less than P100,000 and / or imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than six years.
If a graver offense motivated by bias, prejudice, or hatred against sexual orientation or gender identity is committed, such shall be meted the corresponding maximum penalties depending on the severity of the offenses.
Once the bill becomes a law, the Women and Children’s Desks in all police stations shall act on and attend to complaints covered by the law.
Policemen manning these desks shall undergo appropriate trainings on gender sensitivity and awareness in proper terminology, dynamics of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) relationships and hate crime investigations.
In crafting the measure, women’s groups, LGBT communities, business groups, members of the academe, other stakeholders, and government officials were consulted for months by the Women and Gender Equality Committee chaired by Bulacan 4th District Rep. Linabelle Ruth Villarica.