Manila City adopts Gender and Development Code

Josiah Antonio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 10 2020 08:30 PM

Photo from Manila Mayor Isko Moreno's Facebook page

MANILA — The mayor of the Philippines’ capital city signed on Tuesday an ordinance protecting women and all other genders against violence, sexual abuse and other forms of harassment.

In a social media post, Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno" Domagoso said he signed the locality's Gender and Development Code (GAD), through Ordinance No. 8681.

“The GAD Code ensures protection against violence, sexual abuse, battering, trafficking, gender discrimination, sexual harassment, pedophilia, commercial exploitation and other forms of harassment,” Domagoso said.

According to the city's information office, Domagoso said it is their policy that all persons of any gender “benefit equally and participate directly” in development of programs and projects related to gender and development.

“Women and other genders in the society shall be recognized as full and equal partners of men in development and nation-building and men shall share equally with all forms of productive and reproductive activities,” Domagoso said, quoting the ordinance.

The Manila GAD Code also states that the city government will provide comprehensive support to survivors of violence, including immediate conduct of investigations, free counseling and medical services, and creation of community-based psychological programs and support groups, among others, the city information office said.

The ordinance also ensures that at least one third of the members of the barangay and the city development council for gender and development are women “in recognition of their considerable leadership and involvement.”

The city government, under the code, will oblige all media institutions to be “sensitive in portrayal of women’s and men’s role, encourage positive images of women, and discourage sexist and homophobic print and materials and broadcast programs,” the city information said.

Domagoso earlier signed Ordinance No. 8695, or the Manila LGBTQI Protection Ordinance, that aims to eliminate "any and all forms of discrimination against LGBTQI solely on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression" or SOGIE. 

The ordinance laid out 12 acts that constitute "discrimination," among them the denial of employment and other opportunities on the basis of the person's SOGIE.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros earlier said a bill seeking to give the LGBT community more rights and protection under the law has yet to hurdle the committee level in the Senate due to lack of signatures.

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