Rainbow rising in Malolos, Bulacan.
The city of Malolos has joined the growing number of local government units (LGUs) in the Philippines with an anti-discrimination ordinance that makes it illegal to discriminate against LGBTQIA people.
Though still awaiting the signature of the city’s mayor, City Ordinance 19-2021 already passed the third and final reading in the city’s council.
The ADO – called as the “Malolos Gender-Fair” ordinance – specifically prohibits:
- discrimination in employment
- discrimination in education
- discrimination in the delivery of goods and services
- discrimination in accommodation
- verbal, non-verbal ridicule and vilification
- harassment, unjust detention and involuntary confinement
- disallowance from entry and refusal to serve people because of their SOGIESC
- revoking any accreditation, recognition, registration of any organization in educational institutions, workplaces, and communities on basis of their actual or perceived SOGIE
- promotion of discrimination – e.g. organizing groups and activities that promote and incite discrimination against persons based on the basis of actual or perceived SOGIE
Similar to all ADOs, nonetheless, violation of the ordinance only merits minimal penalties – e.g. P1,000 for the first offense plus participation in an anti-discrimination ordinance, to P5,000 and/or imprisonment for not more than a year for the third offense. Businesses, meanwhile, could risk losing their permits only if they commit “a clear and consistent pattern or practice of discrimination”.
The ADO also enshrined in the local law pro-LGBTQIA “affirmative acts”. These include: the issuance of diversity training certificates, reconfiguration of communication materials to make these more gender sensitive, and building of capacity of barangay workers to be more LGBTQIA aware.
With the ADO, a council will be formed to oversee the implementation of the new mandate.
The ADO was authored by councilors Dennis San Diego, Patrick dela Cruz, Michael Aquino, Emmanuel Sacay and Luis Alfonso Arcega.
Posting on Facebook, PANTAY stated that the ADO could help in the reclamation of “safe spaces for people of diverse SOGIE and upholding human rights.”
Meanwhile, BulSU Bahaghari is urging other LGUs particularly in Bulacan “to safeguard the rights of everyone not to be discriminated on the basis of SOGIE by writing and passing their own ordinances.”
ARTICLE AMENDED ON MARCH 22, 2022 (11.11AM) TO INCLUDE DETAILS FROM THE ANTI-DISCRIMINATION ORDINANCE