MANILA — The Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity or Expression (SOGIE) bill is not among the priority legislations in the Senate, according to Senate Majority Floor Leader Joel Villanueva.
The senator said the Committee on Rules also received "letters and reservations" on the measure.
"I don't know who is following it up and saying it's a priority measure because it is not, to begin with. There are members of the Committee on Rules who had given us letters and reservations. It's still there, with some other measures. So again, I don't see any urgency for that particular measure," he explained in a press conference Tuesday.
Villanueva also suggested a more "holistic" approach in tackling the measure.
"Si Sen. Imee (Marcos) was saying hindi lang dapat sa isang sector of the society. Dapat lahat, holistic... Hindi kailangang isang sektor lang. Bakit hindi lahat? When you talk about anti-discrimination, nadi-discriminate din 'yung iba," he said.
The legislator enumerated bills that are already in the plenary, and among those that will be prioritized when the Senate resumes its session are: the Philippine Salt Industry Development Act, Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers, Automatic Income Classification of LGUs Act, Public Private Partnership Act, Internet Transactions Act, New Philippine Passport Act, and Ease of Paying Taxes Act.
"'Yan po lahat ay nasa plenaryo na. At tingin ko po, 'yan ay — gaya ng mga naririnig ko sa aking mga kasamahan bilang kanilang floor leader — ito po 'yung mga priority measures that we need to act upon sa pagbabalik ng Kongreso," Villanueva said.
The SOGIE bill — a measure against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity — has been pending in both houses of Congress amid oppositions from religious groups.