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.