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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, July 6, 2019
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Anti-discrimination bill pushed


Senator Sonny Angara has filed a measure that aims to eliminate all forms of discrimination in the country.

Angara filed Senate Bill 137, which seeks to prohibit discrimination based on age, racial or ethnic origin, religious belief or activity, political inclination or conviction, social class, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expressions, marital or relationship status, disability, HIV status, health status or medical history, language, physical features, or other status, a statement from his office said yesterday.

“Most Filipinos experience different kinds of discrimination every day. Usually, such discriminatory acts are deemed normal or acceptable by the perpetrators,” Angara said.

“We want everyone to understand which act, statement, or policy could be considered discriminatory against others,” he added.

The bill, or the proposed Comprehensive Anti-Discriminatory Act, covers 13 acts of discrimination.

Under the bill, it will be deemed illegal for any person to commit any acts that promote and encourage stigma, including content in the media and educational textbooks.

No person will be denied his political, civil, and cultural rights.

A person cannot be refused admission, denied honors or scholarships or be expelled from any educational institution on the basis of the protected attributes.

It is also illegal to deny the right to expression, whether it is in the form of speech, deportment, dress, bodily characteristics, or choice of name.

A person cannot be denied employment, refused promotion or even terminated on the basis of the protected attributes.

No person will be denied access to goods and services, including being refused entry into an establishment.

Other acts of discrimination listed in the bill are the denial of the right to organize, inflicting harm on health and well-being, engaging in profiling, abuses by state and non-state actors, detention and confinement, inciting hatred or violence, and other analogous circumstances.

The bill prescribes a penalty of one to six years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to P500,000 for any person found to have committed acts of discrimination.*PNA


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