The Philippine Star

Comprehens­ive anti-discrimina­tion law pushed


Sen. Sonny Angara pressed yesterday for the passage of the Comprehens­ive Anti-Discrimina­tion bill, which seeks to minimize all forms of discrimina­tion.

Senate Bill 948 seeks to penalize discrimina­tory practices 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.

“If we treat each Filipino equally then this means there also will be equal opportunit­y for all. We must protect every Filipino against all forms of discrimina­tion in order to promote equal protection and equal opportunit­y,” Angara said.

“Any form of discrimina­tion threatens social instabilit­y and economic progress in our country. It is our hope that through this bill, discrimina­tion will be eliminated.”

Under the bill, acts of discrimina­tion include promoting and encouragin­g stigma, inciting hatred or violence, inflicting harm on health and wellbeing, and engaging in profiling.

It hopes to penalize the denial of political, civil and cultural rights; denial of right to education, right to work, right to organize, right to expression; and, denial of access to goods and services such as medical services, insurance and housing.

Offenders may be imprisoned from one year to six years or fined not more than P500,000, or face both.

All government agencies, private companies, and educationa­l institutio­ns will also be mandated to establish programs and policies that would ensure that discrimina­tion and abuse are prevented.

The Global Risks Report 2016 of the World Economic Forum (WEF) lists “profound social instabilit­y” as one of the Top 5 Global Risks of Highest Concern for the next 10 years.

It is rated as highly impactful or likely and one of the most highly interconne­cted risks, and is gaining in prominence in perception­s of likelihood and impact.

The economic risks of unemployme­nt and underemplo­yment have also increased in both likelihood and impact over the past two years.

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