IN celebration of the June pride month, Baguio-Benguet joined the colorful festival and events spearheaded by the Northern Luzon pride, with the theme “segged for love.”
In a Metro Baguio pride press conference, Northern Luzon Pride convenor Mx Kiki Krunch expressed that the word ‘segged’ is an Iloco term which equates to the meaning of ‘to start a fire’ and consequently translated in Filipino as ‘alab.’
“By lighting up the flame of love, we render service to the people, radiate compassion during hard times kaya tinatawag natin siyang segged for love,” Kiki Krunch said.
According to Krunch, the pride month is conducted to celebrate and remember the triumphs of the members of the LGBTQIA+ community and concurrently, it is a protest to call for equality.
As the kickoff of the series of the rainbow festival, Pride 101 has been promptly conducted to tackle stories of individuals’ coming out, history and milestones of pride movements, and discussed the fundamental rights and provision of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQIA+) community.
“We wanted to start the festival with like orientation, especially those who are not part of the LGBTQIA+ community because we wanted the general audience to understand the history of the pride movement, the pride movement in the Philippines, the current issues that members of the community are facing,” said Faye Marino, secretary of the Northern Luzon Pride.
In the discussion, Atty. Paulo M. Bautista, resident lawyer at North Local desks offices, expressed that if you apply the laws as to LGBT persons, they become gay rights issues. Bautista furthered that no one has the monopoly in the concept of pride and no one has exclusive right to pride.
“Pride is a concept, pride is a living concept, it evolves according to the needs of the person,” Bautista expressed.
Also, Santy Layno, an LGBTQIA+ rights advocate, cited the challenges faced by the individuals as part of the community and the umbrella term of the LGBTQIA+.
“What we are fighting for in the LGBTQ community is not special rights as most na sinabi ng iba na parang we are fighting for special rights. But actually the LGBTQIA+ community is fighting for equal rights. It is the same rights that everybody is enjoying,” Layno stated.
Local anti-discrimination ordinance
Meanwhile, in Baguio City,the council passed the anti-discrimination ordinance or Ordinance no. 13 series of 2017, prohibiting and penalizing all forms of discrimination and abuse against citizens, including the LGBT community.
The said ordinance says discrimination is characterized as “a distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference made on the basis of disability, age, health status, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity and religion which has the purpose or effect of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing of the human rights and fundamental freedoms in the civil, political, economic, social, cultural, or any other field of public life of a person.”
Under Section 4, prohibited acts under the civil and political rights are as follows: discrimination in political participation; discrimination in accessing public places, facilities, and public meetings; denial of right to organize; discrimination in education materials, advertisement, mass media; engaging in profiling; discrimination through speeches, utterances, acts of hatred, and similar acts; detention and confinement; and abuses by state and non-state actors.
The ordinance also emphasized violations on economic, social, and cultural rights: denial of right to work; denial of right to education; denial of access to goods and services; discrimination on accommodation/lodging establishment; inflicting stigma; inciting others to commit acts of discrimination; and inflicting harm on health and well-being.
Further, the measure under this ordinance orders the city government to recognize various programs such as Discrimination and Stigma Reduction Program through the Capacity Building and Education Campaign; Access to Scholarships, Skills, Employment , and Livelihood Opportunities; Access to Legal Representation; Policy Review; and Social Protection Program.
The pride march culminated on June 25. The LGBTQIA+ community and allies paraded to show solidarity, while simultaneously serving as a protest and call for the passage of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill. – Vjnhyl Zam Pondivida