The Forum director for programs and advocacy Chi Laigo-Vallido lauded the LGUs and expressed hope that more local leaders will follow suit to ensure that the rights of LGBTs are upheld.
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LGUs lauded for measures on LGBT rights
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - June 25, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Over 20 local government units (LGUs) now have anti-discrimination ordinances to protect and encourage respect for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities, civil society group The Forum for Family Planning and Development said yesterday.

The Forum director for programs and advocacy Chi Laigo-Vallido lauded the LGUs and expressed hope that more local leaders will follow suit to ensure that the rights of LGBTs are upheld.

She noted in a statement that the efforts of local governments to implement ordinances that prevent and prohibit abuse, exploitation, bullying and acts that limit employment, education and other opportunities for LGBTs have “set precedents for more political leaders to formulate similar laws.”

Vallido maintained that beyond the recognition of the June celebration of Pride Month and the parades in various parts of the country, “it is time to step up for the welfare of LGBTs who have unique reproductive and health needs.”

“They must be equal before our laws and must be able to access opportunities and services among others just like any and all Filipinos,” she added.

In Luzon, the LGUs that have such ordinances are Cavite province and the cities of Angeles, Antipolo, Baguio, Batangas, Candon, Dagupan, Mandaluyong, Puerto Princesa, Quezon and Vigan. 

In the Visayas region, the ordinances are being implemented in Iloilo province and the cities of Bacolod and Cebu while in Mindanao, it is being done in Agusan del Norte and Dinagat Island as well as the cities of Butuan and Davao.

A few more towns and barangays across the country have their own ordinances that seek to uphold the rights of LGBTs, The Forum said.

Aside from LGBT police help desks, there is also an anti-bullying law that Congress passed in 2013 that included protection for LGBTs and child protection policies covering LGBT children and youth. 

Vallido said the Philippines is also a signatory to various international covenants promoting human rights under the United Nations.

And recently, the World Health Organization had removed transgender in its classification of mental disorders and calls it a legitimate sexual orientation.

“The good efforts towards LGBTs have yet to ascend into a national commitment,” says Vallido, as she took to task President Duterte to lead this commitment.

She claimed that there is the SOGIE (sexual orientation and gender identity and expression) equality bill or the anti-discrimination bill that Congress has yet to pass. The measure seeks to prevent acts of discrimination based on people’s sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

“For a leader who once headed a city (Davao) which has a gender and development code since 1997 and started pioneering strategies in integrating gender and development in various LGU programs, I am saddened that President Duterte is himself the one who does not support the country’s growing maturity towards sexual diversity,” she added.

LGBT COMMUNITY LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS
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