SOGIE bill doesn’t promote equality
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila (The Freeman) - September 13, 2019 - 12:00am

Our nation has so many problems simply because we are not alone in this Earth and we do need to compete, even with our ASEAN neighbors. We just held our mid-term elections last May and four months later the 18th Congress is not debating on building new high-rise homes for homeless Filipinos or moving those illegal squatters living along the riverbanks who end up clogging our esteros and rivers because they also make it their personal dumping ground.

But what is happening in the Senate these days? They are focused on debating on the so-called Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression Equality (SOGIE) Bill, that’s being pushed by Sen. Risa Hontiveros, who stressed that the SOGIE bill remains the best protective mechanism for members of the LGBT community even after Malacañang said the president would not certify the proposed legislation as urgent.

I fully support the efforts of President Rodrigo Duterte who last Tuesday said he will support any proposed measure against discrimination, but he will not give priority to the SOGIE Bill. Forgive me, but my definition for equality means; an equal number of people should be treated the same way as another group of people. This means, respect for both genders that God created in his image…man and woman.

I dare you, go to any hospital and visit the delivery room and ask the nurse in charge where the other sexes are being placed? Of course, the nurse will tell you that they only deliver girls or boys where their sex is identified already. So where is the question of equality in the hospital? Of course, there is none because we are born either a boy or a girl.

Mind you, I have many friends who accept their own sexual orientation. However, if you ask me, they are a very small minority in our growing population these days. The only reason why this minority is heard of today is simply because of the internet connection and social media. I would like to believe that there are a greater number of persons with disabilities in our community than those who demand equality through the SOGIE bill.

Again, I would like to point out that solving our traffic problems either in EDSA or in Metro Cebu is far more important to millions of Filipinos than discussing the SOGIE bill, which would make them equal within our laws simply because they are a very small minority.

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That Cebu Province is now imposing a total ban of live hogs from Luzon as well as frozen pork and other pork-related products from Bulacan and Rizal where the presence of African Swine Flu (ASF) has been confirmed by the Department of Agriculture. Agriculture Secretary William Dar announced that the deaths of pigs in Bulacan, Rizal, and Quezon were caused by ASF. Based on the laboratory results, 14 out of 20 samples tested positive.

The Provincial Capitol added more provisions to Executive Order 14, which bans live hogs and pork products from 20 ASF-affected countries and other sources without proper requirements. I know that Gov. Gwen Garcia has a lot on her plate as she resumed her role as our governor, but I’m glad that she gave this issue top priority. In Europe at the time of the Middle Ages, great numbers of people perished due to plague, people didn’t know how to handle the problem, except either to bury the dead or burn their corpses.

Back during the Middle Ages, no one really knew what caused the plague. It was later found to be the result of an infectious disease caused by bacteria called Yersinia pestis. These bacteria are found mainly in rodents, particularly in the fleas that fed on them. Other animals and humans usually contract the bacteria from rodent or flea bites. Thanks to modern technology and the advancement of science, we are no longer having problems like the plague. But we have new ones like the dengue scourge.

* * *

It seems that the members of the Mactan-Cebu Bridge Management Board (MCBMB) crafted steps that would immediately be implemented during incidents in which signs of suicide attempts occur, by having a curfew or even not allowing bicycles on the bridge. Of course this is being questioned by biker groups. But before I make comments on this issue, I will have to talk to many of my friends who love to ride their bikes.

SOGIE BILL
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