By Wilnard Bacelonia

PRIDE MONTH. A woman walks beneath a roof of colorful umbrellas inside the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City for the June 24, 2023 Pride Festival. Senate Deputy Minority Leader Risa Hontiveros on Monday (June 3, 2024) expressed high hopes that the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, or Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) Equality bill would be passed under the new Senate leadership. (PNA photo by Joan Bondoc)

MANILA – Senate Deputy Minority Leader Risa Hontiveros on Monday expressed high hopes that the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, or Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) Equality bill would be passed under the new Senate leadership.

In a statement, Hontiveros said she already asked Senate Majority Leader Francis Tolentino to look into the committee report and “he has promised to do so.”

The bill has been pending in the Committee on Rules, which Tolentino now chairs, since Feb. 8, 2023.

Sana ang bagong liderato ng Senado ay tumindig para sa ating LGBTQIA+ community ngayong Pride Month at pati na rin sa araw-araw nilang pamumuhay bilang mga tao (I hope the new leadership of the Senate will stand up for our LGBTQIA+ [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, asexual, and others] community this Pride Month and also in their daily lives as people),” she said.

“Nineteen of my colleagues signed the committee report on the SOGIESC Equality Bill. That should speak to its acceptability across the aisle,” she added.

The Philippines remains the top country in Asia for gender equality, with a 79.1 percent gender parity, according to the 2023 Global Gender Gap Index Report.

The country advanced three positions to 16th place globally in terms of gender equality, excelling in economic participation, education, health, and political empowerment. (PNA)