BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance institutionalizing the celebration of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Week in the city every last week of November and providing funds for the activities that will be lined up for the gathering.
The ordinance authored by Vice Mayor Edison R. Bilog stated that local government, in coordination with the LGBT groups, shall come up with regular city-sponsored activities for the LGBTs in the city geared towards celebrating their diversity and assert their rights and shall also be focused on promoting solidarity and equality among the LGBT communities in the different parts of the city.
Among the proposed activities during the week-long celebration include parades, fora, trainings, and other undertakings which may help broaden public consciousness about the LGBT rights.
A committee chaired by the City Mayor with the City Social Welfare and Development officer and the chairperson of the City Council Committee on Social Services, Women and Urban Poor; City Health Officer; representatives from the LGBT community in the city, 2 representatives from the education sector, representative from the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO), and other members as may be identified by the committee members shall perform duties and responsibilities related to the celebration.
The ordinance claimed that the committee shall prepare the necessary activities for the week-long celebration and shall be tasked to likewise coordinate with the other concerned offices and departments in the implementation of the pertinent provisions of the measure.
The ordinance revealed that the amount of P100,000 from the city’s general fund shall be appropriated for the implementation of the measure and for expediency, shall every year thereafter, be included in the annual budget of the City Social Welfare and Development Office.
The ordinance emphasized that the allocation may be adjusted to ensure the success of the implementation of all the activities to be identified by the committee created for the purpose.
Earlier, the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP) stated in its statement on non-discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression that lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender continue to experience stigma, prejudice and discrimination in the society.
The PAP also explained that the stigma is manifested in actions such as bullying, teasing, harassment of LGBT children and adolescence and families, schools and communities; media portrayal of LGBT as frivolous, untrustworthy and even dangerous and predatory; denying transgender Filipinos entry into commercial establishments; pigeon-calling; confining LGBT Filipinos into particularly limited roles and occupations or curtailing their rights to participate in the political sphere.
Ordinance No. 13, series of 2017 was approved by the local legislative body prohibiting discrimination and enforcing equality before the law and equal protection of the law without any discrimination in the city on the basis of religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity, health status, disability and age. By Dexter A. See