‘Good things take time’: Sara Duterte voices support for SOGIE bill

�Good things take time�: Sara Duterte voices support for SOGIE bill
This photo shows Vice President Sara Duterte at the Office of the Vice President's first Pride Reception event, June 15, 2023.
Facebook / Inday Sara Duterte

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Sara Duterte has openly voiced her support for the passage of the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, or Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) Equality bill.

Speaking at the Office of the Vice President’s Pride Reception event on Thursday, Duterte said that she is among the many advocates in government backing the measure.

“While we wait patiently for the passage of the SOGIESC bill, what I would say on this is that good things take time. But we have advocates in the government, including me, in your dream for a law for protection,” Duterte said in a mix of English and Filipino.

In May, the House women and gender equality committee approved the consolidated bill that combined multiple similar measures aimed at eliminating discrimination based on SOGIESC.

This came after several hearings, during which evangelical groups, who were against the bill, and organizations in favor of the legislation engaged in discussions about the importance of safeguarding Filipinos from gender-based discrimination. 

RELATED: No, the SOGIE bill won’t legalize necrophilia, pedophilia | SOGIE bill will not outlaw Bible-based beliefs on LGBTs  

The Commission on Human Rights has recently called on Congress to pass the “long overdue” measure, multiple versions of which have stalled in the upper and lower chambers for at least 23 years.

During her speech, Duterte also acknowledged the presence of Rep. Geraldine Roman, who chairs the House women and gender equality commitee and among the co-authors of the proposed SOGIESC measure.

RELATED: Villanuevas in Congress move to delay SOGIE Equality Bill  

OVP support for queer business owners

Duterte also called on the public to support initiatives promoting “gender equality and social empowerment… (through) entrepreneurial collaboration and advancement across diverse socio-economic industries.”

During the event, Duterte also acknowledged the limited livelihood opportunities that continue to hound the LGBTQIA+ sector.

“LGBTQI+ people already face enough obstacles on their own, but to sustain their enterprises and expand their businesses, they are far more likely to encounter issues that are specific to underserved and marginalized groups,” Duterte said.

“Our LGBTQI+ community has been subjected to systemic discrimination. They experience obstacles when attempting to access funds, licenses, produce sales, hire staff, or obtain insurance, in addition to not feeling safe going out or exploring business prospects consistent with their identity,” she added.

The vice president also highlighted the OVP's "Mag Negosyo 'Ta Day" initiative that aims to provide entrepreneurial programs for members of marginalized communities, including LGBTQIA+ persons.

Duterte said that the program aims to help entrepreneurs pursue “sustainable” businesses through training programs in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp.  Cristina Chi

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