The push for non-discrimination of LGBT Filipinos re-starts this 2016, with the filing of House Bill No. 51 (HB 51) by Dinagat Islands Lone District Rep. Kaka Bag-ao in the House of Representatives; and a senate version filed by Senator Risa Hontiveros.
The bill that seeks to penalize discrimination against members of the LGBT community was first filed by Akbayan Rep. Etta Rosales 16 years ago. The version in the last Congress had the support of human rights and LGBT groups, but it remained at a standstill in the Lower House, while the version sponsored by Sen. Bam Aquino – cousin of the former President, Benigno Simeon Aquino III – also failed to gain traction, arguably largely because of the lack of political backing.
The 2016 version of the anti-discrimination bill already has the support of An Waray Rep. Binky Noel, Batanes Rep. Dina Abad, Pangasinan 4th District Rep. Toff De Venecia, and Bataan 1st District Rep. Geraldine Roman, who is the first transwoman to win a seat in Congress.