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Home/ News & Articles/ Laguna passes LSPU-proposed Gender-Fair Ordinance
Laguna passes LSPU-proposed Gender-Fair Ordinance
The Sangguninang Panlalawigan ng Laguna (SPL) passed as an ordinance the policy proposal of the Laguna State Polytechnic University (LSPU) on the comprehensive protection against discrimination on the basis of gender known as “Laguna Gender-Fair Ordinance of 2023.”

The Provincial Ordinance No. 8, s.2023, passed through SPL Resolution No. 636, s. 2023 on May 29, 2023, is declared as a “policy of the Province of Laguna to actively work in the elimination of all forms of discrimination in safeguarding the dignity of every individual, guarantee full respect for human rights, and give the highest priority to measures that protect and enhance the rights of all people.”

The ordinance primarily aims to provide an environment free from discrimination towards women and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and more (LGBT+) community.

The said ordinance was sponsored by Vice Governor Katherine C. Agapay and Co-sponsored by Board Member Karla Monica C. Adajar-Lajara through LSPU proponents, namely, Dr. Mario R. Briones, University President; Dr. Chester Alexis C. Buama, Faculty Regent; Dr. Ruby B. Brion, Director for Gender and Development (GAD), and A/Prof. Angela L. Reginaldo, Director for Extension and Training Services (ETS).

The gender-fair ordinance prohibits any forms of discrimination defined as any distinction, exclusion, restriction, or other differential treatment that is directly or indirectly based on gender. This covers discrimination in employment, education, delivery of goods or services, and accommodation; verbal, non-verbal ridicule and vilification; harassment, unjust detention, and involuntary confinement; disallowance from entry and refusal to serve; promotion of discrimination against LGBT+; and any other analogous act.

The ordinance also outlines as its affirmative acts the plans and programs that shall be adopted in employment, education, delivery of goods and services, accommodation, and other areas to ensure that the rights of women and members of the LGBT+ against discrimination are protected.

Penalties are likewise stipulated based on the first, second, and third offense, and subsequent violation ranging from a fine of two thousand pesos or imprisonment of six months or both for first offense to a fine of not less than five thousand pesos and one year of imprisonment for subsequent violations.

In order to ensure the promotion of the protection against discrimination of women and LGBT+ members, the ordinance stipulates the establishment of the Laguna Equality Council (LEC) composed of a chairperson, vice-person, and technical working group (TWG). The said Council will primarily serve as the implementing body of the ordinance. Counterparts among cities and municipalities in the Province of Laguna shall also be established, known as Local Equity Councils.

The ordinance also mandates the incorporation and inclusion of sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression (SOGIE) concerns with the functions of the existing violence against women and children (VAWC) desks and women and children’s protection desks (WCPDs).