HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES – Congresswoman Geraldine B. Roman of the Bataan 1st district along with 16 other lawmakers from this chamber recently filed a bill known as “Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Act.”
House Bill No. 3312 or “An act prohibiting discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, race, religion or belief, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expressions, language, disability, HIV status, and other status, and providing penalties therefor” aims to eliminate all forms of that offends the equal protection clause of the Bill of Rights and the State obligations under the human rights instruments acceded to by the Republic of the Philippines.
Aside from Rep. Roman, congressmen from other districts of the country namely: Rep. Kaka Bag-ao, Rep Henedina Abad, Rep. Ma. Lourdes Acosta-Alba, Rep. Emmeline Aglipay-Villar, Rep. Mercedes Alvarez, Rep. Teddy Baguilat, Jr., Rep Jorge Banal, Rep. Nancy Catamco, Rep. Christopher De Venecia, Rep. Cheryl Deloso-Montalla, Rep. Sharon Garin, Rep. Victoria Noel, Rep. Josephine Ramirez-Sato, Rep. Sandra Sema, Rep. Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman, and Rep Tomasito Villarin were also co-authors of this Bill.
The Bill also seeks the prohibition of discriminatory acts such as denial of political, civil and cultural rights; denial of right to education; inflicting stigma or negative and unfair disbelief (as in content in the media, in educational textbooks, or in other medium that aims to inflict stigma); denial of right to work; denial of access to goods and services; and, denial of rights to organize.
When the Bill is passed into law, person, organization, corporation or group found guilty of any discriminatory practices will be penalized with a fine of not less than 100,000 pesos but not to exceed 500,000 pesos or imprisonment from 2 years to 12 years depending on what section/s of the Act is/are violated. If the violator is a foreigner, he shall be deported immediatley after service of sentence without proper deportation proceedings. The violators are also be civily liable.
“Sana isantabi natin ang ating mga biases, ating prejudices, and start dealing with each other as human beings. Yung mga eternal and personal circumstances- it may be gender, ita may be your age, your physical attributes- they are irrelevant if we are to advanced society,” Congresswoman Roman said in her Facebook Page post. –Mhike R. Cigaral