Senator Risa Hontiveros is expecting that the Senate will schedule the sponsorship of the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) bill in the plenary after getting enough support from her colleagues.
“Pirmado na ng three-fourths ng aming mga senador ang committee report so inaasahan ko na mai-schedule na ang susunod na hakbang na sponsorship,” Hontiveros told reporters on Wednesday.
(Three-fourths of the senators have signed the committee report, so I expect that the bill will be scheduled for sponsorship.)
The legislator said it amid speculation that efforts are being made to send the draft legislation back to the committee level.
In December last year, Hontiveros, chairperson of the Senate Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality, released Committee Report No. 15 under Senate Bill 1600 in substitution of three bills seeking to prohibit discrimination on the basis of SOGIESC.
The committee report was signed by Hontiveros, Senators Sonny Angara, Imee Marcos, Cynthia Villar, Nancy Binay, Ronald dela Rosa (may interpellate, with reservation), Grace Poe (may amend and interpellate), Mark Villar (with reservation), Francis Tolentino (may amend and interpellate), JV Ejercito, Robin Padilla, Raffy Tulfo, Jinggoy Estrada, Bong Revilla Jr., Francis Escudero, Lito Lapid, and Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.
SB 1600 or the SOGIESC Equality Bill prohibits discriminatory practices on the basis of SOGIESC, such as refusing admission to or expelling a person from any educational or training institution; imposing disciplinary sanctions harsher than customary that infringe on the rights of students; and refusing or revoking accreditation of organizations, groups, political parties, or institutions.
It recommends a penalty of not less than P100,000 but not more than P250,000 or imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than six years for individuals who would commit such discriminatory practices.
The bill states that nothing in the measure should be interpreted to disturb the exercise of parental authority, “provided that such exercise shall be subject to limitations provided for by law and the rights and best interests of the child.” —VBL, GMA Integrated News