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The city government stressed that discussion about the SOGIE bill must be deepened among younger generations of the LGBT community, as it organized the first Pride Congress in Puerto Princesa.

Andrew Manlawe, executive assistant IV of the City Mayor’s Office, said that aside from other pressing issues faced by the LGBT community, there is also a need to orient younger generations about the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression “SOGIE” Equality bill.

It is a measure meant to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people from discrimination.

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“Sa SOGIE bill, ‘yan ang pinu-push natin para ma-enlighten naman ang younger generations ng LGBT na ito pala ang mga karapatan. Ito pala ang mga bawal at dapat gawin kung ikaw ay maharap sa for example circumstances, like discrimination sa workplace,” he said.

The earliest version of the SOGIE equality bill was filed in 2000, and the anti-discrimination bill was passed by the 17th Congress in 2017 on its third and final reading. Its latest version is Senate Bill No. 689, entitled “Anti-Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression.”

The Pride Congress is part of the city’s celebration of Pride Month this June, which also discussed the trans health, and HIV-AIDS awareness of the locals. It is in collaboration with the LGBT community project, Action for Health Initiatives Inc. (ACHIEVE), and the local AIDS council.

The local celebration of Pride Month was opened on June 11, showcasing the talents of the LGBT community members in the city. The Pride parade will be conducted on June 25 from the old airport to Mendoza Park. There is also a gala night at the City Coliseum with an awarding ceremony to recognize their awards in different competitions and the contributions of the city’s five most outstanding LGBT members.

It is the revival of the celebration after a two-year hiatus due to gathering restrictions in the time of the pandemic in 2020.

“Wala talagang galaw ang LGBT group sa panahon ng pandemic. Since naka-level 1 tayo, minabuti ng city government na i-push itong activity for the LGBT,” he said.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.