The City of Manila – via its Public Information Office’s (PIO) Twitter account – marked June as “Pride month”. In a post, Manila’s PIO stated: Ngayong Hunyo ay ipininagdiriwang po natin ang Pride Month. Magkakalayo man, pantay-pantay at sama-sama; pag-ibig para sa isa’t isa. Happy #Pride2020!”
— Manila Public Information Office (@ManilaPIO) June 1, 2020
This is the latest LGBTQIA-related PR initiative of the LGU.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the City of Manila initially eyed to hold its first “Manila Summer Pride” celebration as a tourism-centric event.
However, the event was not completely well-received, with Manila’s local government unit (LGU) accused of “co-opting” the LGBTQIA struggle by focusing on just selling it as a “for-tourism” event.
The LGU – under the leadership of former actor and product endorser Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso – still has no anti-discrimination ordinance (ADO) to protect the human rights of its LGBTQIA constituents.
In an earlier report, Michael David C. Tan, editor of Outrage Magazine and concurrent executive director of Manila City-based Bahaghari Center for SOGIE Research, Education and Advocacy, Inc. (Bahaghari Center), said that the LGU’s version of LGBT Pride is problematic on many sides.
If Moreno is “really serious about wanting to support the LGBTQIA community, he should focus on passing an ADO, which will be longer-lasting, life-changing effects on his LGBTQIA constituents’ lives,” Tan was quoted as saying.
In October 2019, the Manila government also painted a pedestrian lane near its city hall with rainbow colors. In a Facebook live video showcasing this, Domagoso was quoted as saying that “we just want to show you in our own little way how sensitive we are with your plight.” However, the focus on partying again surfaced as he added that “tapos next year, pilitin natin sa araw ng Maynila, the biggest mardi gras parade.”