Manila to penalize anyone who discriminates based on sexual orientation, gender identity

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 29) — The City Government of Manila signed an ordinance that aims to protect the rights of the LGBTQI and penalize anyone who discriminates another based on his sexual orientation and gender identity.

City Ordinance No. 8695, or the Manila LGBTQI Protection Ordinance of 2020, aims to “guarantee full respect of the dignity of every individual and their human rights” through eliminating all forms of discrimination against the said community.

The order defines LGBTQI as a diverse and complex range of identities, namely people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex.

Aside from physical, verbal, and written harassment towards the LGBTQI, it also listed down what other acts are considered to be discriminating these people’s rights. It covers possible issues on their employment; access to medical services, education and facilities like theaters, malls, spas, and other accommodations; and application for a any government-issued license or document.

The Manila Gender Sensitivity and Development Council (MGSDC) is also created to administer the implementation of the ordinance, and conduct programs and trainings for the LGBTQI community.

Complaints shall be filed to the barangays, who are the ones assigned to document the incident and report it to the MGSDC, and assist the complainant of filing proper legal action against violators.

Aside from undergoing mandatory human rights education program by the council, any person who will be found liable will be fined a minimum of ₱1,000 and/or be imprisoned for six months at the first offense.

For the second offense, violators will be fined not less than ₱2,000 and/or be jailed for six to eight months.

For the third offense, they will be fined a minimum of ₱3,000 and/or be imprisoned for eight months to a year.

Subsequent violations are subject to a year in prison and a fine of not less than ₱5,000.

Meanwhile, all establishments are also ordered to provide gender neutral toilets within three years, the order said.