SOGIE talks 'timely' in Senate thanks to Tulfo's bill--Roman

At a glance

  • Bataan 1st district Rep. Geraldine Roman (In photo, left) finds Senator Raffy Tulfo's (right) push for a "pants option" for female students as a good opportunity to start discussions on the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity or Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill in the Senate.

  • (Photos from Facebook)

Bataan 1st district Rep. Geraldine Roman says that now is the time for the Senate take up the proposed Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity or Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill.

"It is timely for the Senate to prioritize the discussion on the [SOGIE] Equality Bill, which should have long been a law and implemented," Roman, chairperson of the House Committee on Women and Gender Equality said in a statement Wednesday, March 15.

The veteran lawmaker from Bataan found this opportunity to promote the SOGIE Bill in the Senate after Senator Raffy Tulfo filed a measure seeking to give female students the option of wearing pants as their uniform.

Tulfo is proposing the pants option for female students under Senate Bill (SB) No. 1986 in a bid to promote “freedom of choice, gender equality and safety among students".

Roman holds the distinction of being the first transgender woman to be elected to a House seat in the Philippines.

While Roman admitted that the wearing of pants among female students could provide "defense against sudden abuse", nothing beats the protection that the SOGIE measure can provide.

"The SOGIE Bill is a clear protection for women against discrimination and harassment not only in schools but also in their workplaces and other public places," she said.

"I encourage my fellow lawmakers to take action on this because no one should be harassed because of their choice of clothing," she added.

The SOGIE Bill aims to protect individuals from discrimination based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression. It is still pending at the committee level of the Senate, and the leaders have not yet indicated whether they will allow it to be brought up to the plenary under their terms.