For decades, many Filipinos have had to endure prejudice and discrimination as the Philippine Congress fails to pass a legislation that provides proper safeguard and protection against these acts. Additionally, the pandemic we are currently in, have only worsened these experiences of discrimination.
Women, girls and members of the LGBT communities were subjected to harassment at checkpoints. Medical frontliners, irrationally believed to be potential carriers due to the nature of their work, experienced various forms of discrimination even in their own communities. There have even been reports of arbitrary arrests made against those who are profiled to be too young, members of certain religious groups or ethnicity and those living in certain impoverished communities
In many cases, those who are marginalized remain invisible to many local governments and even the public: there are no clear programs to support IP communities; older persons, people with disabilities, people living with HIV, and more with physical and mental illnesses further suffered due to lack of available services that will cater to their specific needs; and LGBT families have been purposely excluded from the Social Amelioration Program in some cities, and in others, they, along with many families living in poverty have had to go through social and legal hurdles thrown at them just to be able to avail of any existing government assistance.
We believe that many of these problems can be addressed by the passage of the Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Bill (CADB). If adopted, this proposed measure will make any form of discrimination illegal specially when accessing basic services and seeking protection. This law will also ensure that those considered to be most vulnerable to acts of discrimination in extra-ordinary situations are protected at all times.
We further assert that the Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Bill must in itself exemplify the principle of inclusivity and equality by ensuring that all sectors and identities, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, enjoy the protection this legislation provides.
We call on the Philippine Congress to end the delays, make the Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Bills a Priority Legislative Measure without leaving any sector behind, and help us move the Philippines forward towards a world free of exclusion and discrimination.
Urge the Philippine Congress to support CADB.