Vice Mayor Edison Bilog said recognizing the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) is as important as recognizing those of other sectors.
Bilog told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Tuesday a proposed ordinance institutionalizing the celebration of the LGBT week in the city every last week of November was filed before the City Council last week.
The ordinance, he said, “aims to promote solidarity & equality among the LGBT communities in the different parts of the city by celebrating their diversity and asserting their rights”.
“With this ordinance, the community will be aware of the rights of the LGBT community and there will be an equality among them,” the vice mayor said.
He also cited the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP), which he said believes that “LGBT Filipinos continue to experience stigma, prejudice, and discrimination in Philippine society”.
Bilog added that during the city government’s dialogues with the leaders of the different LGBT communities, the sector suggested that the last week of November be set as their “pride” week.
He said one week of celebration is hoped to make people understand the sector’s plight as persons, endowed with the same rights as others.
Bilog said the proposed ordinance states that local government, in coordination with the LGBT groups, would come up with regular city-sponsored activities, such as parades, fora, trainings, and other undertakings, which might help broaden public consciousness about the rights of the sector.
An amount of PHP100,000 from the city’s general fund would be allocated for its implementation and would be included in the annual budget of the city social welfare and development office (OCSWDO).
Bilog said the amount would be used for the activities to highlight the “pride week”.
Last year, the LGBT community celebrated the passage of an anti-discrimination ordinance in Baguio City and the progress of its national equivalent, House Bill No. 4982 or the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression Equality Bill, known as the Sogie Bill. (PNA)
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