A six-month jail time on top of a P100,000 fine have been pushed as penalties discrimination once a measure deeming it as a crime gets Congress’ approval.
Rep. Susan Yap of Tarlac City made the proposal under her House Bill 401 or the Anti-Racial, Ethnic and Religious Discrimination Act of 2013 which penalizes acts of discrimination, profiling, violence, and all forms of intolerance in employment, education, delivery of goods, facilities and services, accommodation, transportation, media, in search of investigatory activities, and in political, civil, cultural and social life on the basis of ethnicity, race, religion or belief, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, language, disability and other status.
Aside from penalties for offenders, Yap’s proposal provides for the reparations to victims of discrimination, including their restitution, compensation and rehabilitation. Likewise, House Bill 401 creates an Equal Opportunity Committee in all agencies, corporations, companies and educational institutions both private and public, which shall have administrative jurisdiction over cases involving discrimination.
“The bill will avoid unnecessary prejudice and other forms of intolerance, as well as give equal opportunity to each individual to achieve his full potential as a person and as a Filipino citizen,” Yap pointed out.
Yap’s proposal also seeks to raise awareness on discrimination by including the subjects on ethnicity, race, religion or belief, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, language, disability or other status subject in the curriculum of public and private schools from primary to tertiary levels.
As expected, the measure tasks the Commission on Human Rights to prevent or deter the commission of, and prosecute acts of discrimination and provide legal assistance to victims of discrimination. LLANESCA T. PANTI