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STOP DISCRIMINATION NOW!

LAGABLAB wishes to thank all organizations and individuals who supported the STOP DISCRIMINATION NOW Campaign and sent letters to the Philippine Senate. Your letters and our community’s collective action pushed the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resources Development to hold a hearing on the Anti-Gender Discrimination Bill, or SBN 1738.

STOP DISCRIMINATION NOW! is an on-going campaign by the Lesbian and Gay Legislative Advocacy Network Philippines (LAGABLAB-Pilipinas) and Amnesty International Pilipinas (AIP) to push for the elimination of discrimination against Filipino LGBTs through the enactment of an anti-discrimination legislation. Discrimination against Filipino lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders remains rampant and invisible and several bills are pending in the Philippine Congress to provide legal protection for Filipino LGBTs who experience discrimination and abuse.

The first version of the Anti-Discrimination Bill was filed in 1999 by AKBAYAN Rep. Loretta Ann Rosales. It was initially ignored by the House of Representatives, but it was approved for Third and Final Reading during the next term. Due to time constraints, however, the Philippine Senate failed to act on the measure.

The Anti-Discrimination Bill is a proposed legislation crafted and endorsed by LGBT activists in the Philippines. It criminalizes discriminatory policies and practices on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity to protect and promote the equal human rights and fundamental freedoms of Filipino LGBTs.

In the House of Representatives, the House Committee on Civil, Political and Human Rights already approved HB 634, which was authored by AKBAYAN Representatives Etta Rosales, Risa Hontiveros, and Mayong Aguja. HB 634 has been reported out by the Committee already as Committee Report No. 1008 and is now calendared for Second Reading.

In Senate, there are three versions of the bill: the Employment Non-Discrimination Bill or SBN 165 (download), filed by Sen. Loi Ejercito Estrada; Anti-Discrimination Bill or SBN 1641 (download), filed by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago; and the Anti-Gender Discrimination Bill or SBN 1738 (download), filed by Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. They were all referred to the Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resources Development, which on August 9, 2006, held the first hearing on SBN 1738.

LAGABLAB, with the support of Amnesty International Pilipinas, helped develop HB 634 and SBN 1738, through several consultations with various stakeholders. LAGABLAB, AI Pilipinas, and other supportive groups are endorsing HB 634 and SBN 1738.

(To learn how laws are made in the Philippines, please click here.).

Here’s something that you and your organization can do to support the campaign:

Say it with flowers. We encourage you to send flowers to the House of Representatives and the Senate to appeal for the prompt passage of HB 634 and SBN 1738. At this point, it very crucial to persuade the leadership of both chambers, specifically Senate President Manuel Villar, Jr. and House Speaker Jose de Venecia, to expedite the approval of SBN 1738 and HB 634.

Flowers can bought online from P400 to P1,000 (or $8$20 USD), with free delivery. Please send your flowers to:

SEN. MANUEL VILLAR, JR.
Senate President
Senate Office:
Rm. 602 GSIS Bldg., Financial Center,
Roxas Blvd., Pasay City
Trunk Lines: (632) 552-6601 to 80 loc. 6507 – 09 / 6511
Direct Line: (632) 552-6715
Fax No.: (632) 552-6734
Website: http://www.mannyvillar.com.ph

Extension Office:
311 Pacific Place Cond., Ortigas Pasig
Tel. Nos.: (632) 634-7042 / 37
Fax No.: (632) 634-7033

HON. JOSE DE VENECIA
Speaker of the House
Representative, 4th Dist., Pangasinan
RVM-423, House of Representatives
(+632) 9315001 loc. 7045 or telefax (+632) 9511019

We recommend the following greeting card messages:

Title: Stop Discrimination Now!
Message: Please support the immediate passage of SBN 1738 / HB 634, which penalizes discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders. Thank you very much.

Title: Ipasa bago malanta!
Message: Suportahan ang agarang pagsasabatas ng SBN 1738 / HB 634, isang panukalang batas na nais itigil ang diskriminasyon laban sa lesbians, gays, bisexuals at transgenders. Maraming salamat!

Continue sending your letters. To step up the pressure for the passage of the Anti-Discrimination Bill, please send separate letters to the leadership of the Senate and the House of Representatives:

In the Senate, send your letters to Senate President Manuel Villar, Jr. (address as indicated above) and send copies to:

Hon. Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada
5th flr., Rm. 526 GSIS Bldg.,
Financial Center, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City
Trunk Lines: (632) 552-6601 to 80 loc. 5539 – 41 / 5583 / 2470
Direct Lines: (632) 552-6685 – 86

You can send your letters via email.

In the House of Representatives, send your letters to Speaker Jose de Venecia (address indicated above) and send copies to:

Hon. Prospero Nograles
Chairperson, Rules Committee
Representative, 1st Dist., Davao City
Rm. 404, South-wing, House of Representatives
(+632) 9315001 loc. 7245 or telefax (+632) 9316523

You can also send your letters via email.

Click here to download a sample letter to Senator President Villar and Senator Estrada and here for sample a letter to Speaker De Venecia and Rep. Nograles.

If you wish to make your own letter, please stress the following points:

FOR THE SENATE:

FOR THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

Please don’t forget to send copies of your letters to LAGABLAB. Informing us of the action that you have taken helps us to follow up response from our legislators. Again, thank you for your support for the Anti-Discrimination Bill!

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