Hontiveros refiles 'equality' bill, seeks to raise age of consent

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 03 2019 06:46 PM

MANILA - Sen. Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday refiled the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill and other measures that seek to protect women and children.

Hontiveros, chair of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality, said she is confident the SOGIE Equality Bill will pass the 18th Congress after it was able to “gain new champions and allies.”

She also noted that the bill had “massive popularization… inside and outside the halls of the legislature.”

A version of the bill filed in the previous Congress punishes any form of discrimination against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community with a fine of not less than P100,000, imprisonment of up to 6 years, or both.

Hontiveros also filed a raft of proposed measures that seek to protect women and children, including the Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Bill, the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Bill, the Anti-Child Marriage Bill, and a strengthened Anti-Rape Law.

Hontiveros said the Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Bill, which was passed on third and final reading in the Senate in the 17th Congress but had no counterpart measure in the House of Representatives, mandates age appropriate education to prevent pregnancies among the youth.

The Anti-Child Marriage Bill bans the performance of marriage rites or proceedings on individuals below 18 years old, while the Strengthened Anti-Rape Law seeks to raise the age of sexual consent to 18 years old from the current 12.

She also filed the Universal Social Pension for Senior Citizens Bill, On-Site, In-City, Near-City Resettlement Bill, Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Bill and the Barangay Health Workers Bill.