01 February 2017

The Dinagat Islands Anti-Discrimination Ordinance

DOWNLOAD the Dinagat Islands Anti-Discrimination Ordinance:

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Dinagat Islands​ has recently approved an ordinance promoting and protecting the rights and dignity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons and providing for a comprehensive policy against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression (SOGIE) in the province.

The measure was authored by Board Member Noli Abis​ and co-authored by ex-officio Board Member and Philippine Councilors' League - Dinagat Islands Chapter President Annabel Pinat-Pelismino​ and Board Member Charlemagne Vargas​. The drafting of the ordinance was inspired by the Anti-Discrimination Bill (now known as the SOGIE Equality Bill​) principally authored by Dinagat Islands Rep. Kaka Bag-ao in the House of Representatives, as well as other ordinances approved in several local government units all over the country.

The Anti-Discrimination Ordinance prohibits discrimination in employment, education, delivery of goods and services, public accommodations, and issuance of licenses and other similar documents. It also seeks to prevent discriminatory acts in the form of verbal or non-verbal ridicule, harassment, unjust detention, refusal of service, and the promotion of hatred and bigotry against LGBTs.

Affirmative acts are also enumerated in the measure. These include the dissemination of the ordinance and anti-discrimination modules to help educate Dinagatnons about equality. The Anti-Discrimination Ordinance also mandates the creation of gender-inclusive lavatories to accommodate all gender identities. Attendance in gender sensitivity training seminars will also be encouraged among workers in the private sector and required among government employees. All educational documents will also be reviewed to prevent sex-role stereotyping and gender discriminatory role modelling.

The ordinance also enables the creation of the Dinagat Islands Anti-Discrimination Council (DIADC) composed of provincial officials and representatives from people's organizations with advocacies focusing on gender equality and LGBT rights. The DIADC shall primarily be responsible in ensuring the implementation of the ordinance and assisting victims of stigma and discrimination, among other duties and functions. The body will also spearhead activities that promote equality and celebrate diversity in the Dinagat Islands LGBT Equality Day, which is also mandated by the ordinance to be held every first Saturday of December, which will be simultaneous with the Philippine LGBT Pride celebration and close to the dates of the World AIDS Day (December 1) and the Human Rights Day (December 10).

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