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Up yours, LGBTQIA Pinoys?: Marcos’ updated list of priority measures excludes divorce, SOGIESC Equality Bill

LGBTQIA Filipinos are still not among the priorities of the administration of Pres. Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr., son of the dictator former president, even with the addition of five new measures to the list of its top priorities for passage in Congress before this batch of lawmakers adjourns in May 2025.

LGBTQIA Filipinos are still not among the priorities of the administration of Pres. Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr., son of the dictator former president, even with the addition of five new measures to the list of its top priorities for passage in Congress before this batch of lawmakers adjourns in May 2025.

Particularly, when Marcos Jr. convened the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) on June 25, attended by Senate President Francis “Chiz” Escudero and House Speaker Martin Romualdez , he excluded progressive measures on divorce, and prohibition of gender-based discrimination.

The new “pet” bills added to the list of priority bills are:

  • Amendments to the Foreign Investors’ Long-Term Lease Act
  • Amendments to the Agrarian Reform Law
  • Archipelagic Sea Lanes Act
  • Reforms to the Philippine Capital Markets
  • Amendments to the Rice Tariffication Law

These are in addition to the 23 priority measures already identified by Marcos, with the top 10 bills being:

  • Reforms to Philippine Capital Markets
  • Archipelagic Sea Lanes Act
  • Amendments to the Right-of-Way Act
  • Excise Tax on Single-Use Plastics
  • Rationalization of the Mining Fiscal Regime
  • Amendments to the Electric Power Industry Reform Act
  • Department of Water Resources
  • Tax Incentives for Enterprises to Maximize Opportunities for Reinvigorating the Economy (CREATE MORE Act)
  • Amendments to the Foreign Investors’ Long-Term Lease Act
  • Amendments to the Rice Tariffication Law

The very first anti-discrimination bill that eye to protect the human rights of LGBTQIA Filipinos was filed over 20 years ago. Its more recent version, the Equality Bill, reached the plenary in the House of Representatives, but like its Senate version, continues to fail to get passed.

Meanwhile, the divorce bill passed the Lower House, but Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada saying it’s not the new leadership’s priority. The exclusion of this by Marcos is surprising considering he said during his campaign in 2022 that he’s open to the legalization of divorce in the country.

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