Transgender solon Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman appealed to her colleagues Friday for the immediate tackling of the Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity or Expression (SOGIE) equality bills filed in the 18th Congress.
Roman appealed days before the official start of the second regular session on July 27 of the 18th Congress which coincides with the day of President Duterte’s fifth State-of-the-Nation Address (SoNA).
“Nais ko sana gumawa ng panawagan na isalang na natin ang SOGIE Equality Bill sa ating kumite (I want to make an appeal for this committee to begin discussions on the SOGIE Equality Bill),” she said during a virtual hearing of the House Committee on Women and Gender Equality.
“We have been generous enough to approve the declaration of May 17 as IDAHOT (International Day Against Homophobia,Transphobia, and Biphobia) Day. Surely you will also be brace enough and engage in an intelligent discussion the SOGIE Equality Bill which we passed on third and final reading in the 17th Congress,” Roman said.
Earlier in the hearing, panel chairperson Bukidnon Rep. Ma. Lourdes Acosta-Alba approved a motion to consolidate House Bills (HBs) 2167 and 4826, both of which seek to declare May 17 of every year as National Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Transphobia and other phobias on persons with diverse SOGIE. The bills were authored by Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate and Manila Rep. John Marvin “Yul Servo” Nieto.
While Roman thanked authors for pushing for the pro-SOGIE commemoration law, she said it would ultimately be meaningless if the country has no law recognizing the basic rights of the sector.
“Can you imagine Women’s Month or Women’s Day without the Magna Carta for Women or the Anti-VAWC (Violence Against Women and Children) law?” she said.
“Kaya inaaasahan ko po sana na sa resumption natin ay tatalakayin na po natin (As such I expect that upon resumption of sessions, we will tackle this),” added Roman, who is a vice chairperson of the panel.
“As soon as we commence with the next regular session we will schedule our SOGIE bills. We have many pending SOGIE bills,” Alba said in response.
Committee Secretary Joy Elena Piccio bared that there are 15 pending SOGIE measures and four resolutions connected with SOGIE have been filed.