Legarda Hails Passage on Third Reading of Anti-Discrimination Bill

November 22, 2011

Senator Loren Legarda hailed the Senate’s passage on Third Reading of the proposed Anti-Ethnic, Racial or Religious Discrimination and Profiling Act of 2011.

Legarda, principal author and sponsor of the proposed measure logged as Senate Bill 2814, said that this measure will lessen, if not eliminate, cases of discrimination in the Philippine society as it penalizes acts of discrimination, profiling, violence, and all forms of intolerance in employment, education, delivery of goods, facilities and services, accommodation, transportation, media, in search and investigatory activities, and in political, civil, cultural and social life on the basis of ethnicity, race, religion or belief, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, language, disability and other status.

“We seek to promote a society that values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights regardless of a person’s social status, personal preference, beliefs and affiliation. We need an effective and comprehensive legal framework to do that, thus, the enactment of this bill into law is a crucial step in our fight against all forms of discrimination,” she explained.

The counterpart bill at the House of Representatives, House Bill 4807, has been passed on Third Reading as well, and with that, Legarda hopes that the two versions will be harmonized and enacted into law before Christmas.

Aside from penalizing acts of discrimination, the bill mandates agencies, corporations, companies and educational institutions, whether private or public, to create an Equal Opportunity Committee, which shall have administrative jurisdiction over cases involving discrimination.

Furthermore, the measure seeks to instill in our youth the value of respect to the identity, affiliation, status and preferences of other people by including in the curriculum of public and private schools, from primary to tertiary levels, discussions on discriminations based on ethnicity, race, religion or belief, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, language, disability, or other status.

“Through this proposed measure, we should be able to avoid unnecessary prejudice and other forms of intolerance and give equal opportunity to each individual to achieve his full potential as a person and as a Filipino citizen,” Legarda concluded.