Bataan has joined the still few local government units (LGUs) in the Philippines that now has an anti-discrimination ordinance (ADO) that prohibits the discrimination of people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression (SOGIE).
The ordinance – authored by Jomar L. Gaza; and sponsored by Maria Kristine G. dela Fuente – was actually approved in October by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan ng Bataan; though it was only recently signed by Provincial Governor Albert S. Garcia. The signed Ordinance No. 16, Series of 2021 was only circulated this January 2022.
Via a Facebook post, Rep. Geraldine Roman, the first transgender Filipino elected into Congress to represent the First District of Bataan, stated that this development should serve as a challenge for Congress to already pass a law promoting the human rights of all LGBTQIA Filipinos.
“I’m so proud of Bataan for many things, but I am even prouder of my province after learning that the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Bataan has passed an ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression,” Roman said. “Hamon ito sa Kongreso upang ipasa ang SOGIE Equality Bill sa lalong madaling panahon.”