Lapu Council approves on 1st reading LGBTQIA+ anti-discrimination measure

By: Futch Anthony Inso - CDN Digital Correspondent | July 24,2023 - 06:59 PM

Lapu-Lapu City Councilor Annabeth Cuizon.

Lapu-Lapu City Councilor Annabeth Cuizon. | Contributed photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Members of the Lapu-Lapu City Council has approved on first reading a measure that will prohibit the discrimination of Gays, Lesbians, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual People (LGBTQIA+).

The draft ordinance will impose fines ranging from P3, 000 to P5, 000 on violators.

Its author, Councilor Annabeth Cuizon, said the draft measure will grant LGBTQIA+ members relief from the discrimination and violence that they are now experiencing, provide them the necessary mechanisms to promote gender equality, and undertake all legal measures necessary to foster and promote equal opportunities.

“Kini gihimo para ma dungog nato ang tingog sa atong mga igsoon nga gitawag ug lesbians, gays, bi-sexuals, transgenders, queer, intersex and asexual people,” Cuizon said.

Cuizon submitted her proposed ordinance to the City Council on the first week of July.  It was passed on first reading during the Council session held last July 12.

If approved on final reading, vexing; harassment, either physical, verbal, or writing; continuously subjecting an individual to jokes, pranks, and humor; promotion or inciting of discrimination, whether oral or written; non-consultation on the imposition of rules or policies that are personal and includes areas that only concern the individuals’ decision for her or himself such as “no cross-dressing” and haircut policies; imposition of policies or actions that bring about constraints in their access to government services and resources, economic opportunities, access to health, access to education, access to accommodation, government recognition, and access to consultative and other political processes, will already be made punishable.

Those who are caught violating the measure will be asked to pay a fine of P3,000 or render 48 hours of community service for the first offense.  The penalty will increase to a fine of P4,000 or 64 hours of community service for the second offense and P5,000 or 80 hours f community service for the third offense.

Establishments caught violating the measure will be fined P4,000 and issued a first written warning on the possible revocation of their business permit for the first offense.

The second offense will be fined P5,000 and the revocation of their business permit.

“Further, violators of this ordinance shall be required to attend an orientation on Gender and Development and SOGIESC and a gender sensitivity seminar that will be conducted by the CSEC secretariat,” read part of the draft ordinance.

The proposed ordinance also directs the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office (LCPO) to investigate SOGIESC-based violations through their Violence Against Women (VAWC) and Human Rights Desk.

In addition, it orders the creation of the City SOGIESC Empowerment Council (CSEC) that will be tasked to empower and develop programs for the LGBTQIA+ community; design information, communication, and education strategy to raise awareness on the issues of the sector; and recommend policies and perform such other functions as may be prescribed by law, among others.


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TAGS: anti-discrimination, city ordinance, Lapu-Lapu City, LGBTQIA+

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