Press Release
July 3, 2019

"Paint the Senate with rainbow colors"
Hontiveros refiles Sogie Bill, nine other bills for health, women and seniors

Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday refiled the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill (Senate Bill 159) as part of her first batch of priority proposed measures in the upcoming 18th Congress.

Hontiveros expressed confidence that the measure will finally pass the legislature. "We will paint the Senate with rainbow colors. Our hard work in the previous Congress laid the groundwork for the measure to gain new champions and allies and the massive popularization of the bill inside and outside the halls of the legislature. It has a momentum that can't be ignored nor halted," she said.

"If the Senate's 17th Congress was a big win for women and health, the 18th Congress will be a massive victory against hate and discrimination. The SOGIE Equality Bill will pass. It is a measure whose time has come," Hontiveros added.

In the 17th Congress, Hontiveros authored and sponsored the passage of the Strengthened Anti-hospital Deposit Law, the Mental Health Law, the Expanded Maternity Leave Law, the Safe Spaces Act and the HIV Policy Act, to name just a few.

Aside from the SOGIE Equality bill, for the 18th Congress, Hontiveros also filed the Teenage Pregnancy bill, the Universal Social Pension bill for Senior Citizens, the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare bill, the Anti-child Marriage bill, the Strengthened Anti-Rape Law, the On-site, In-city, Near-city Resettlement Bill, the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Bill and the Barangay Health Workers Bill.

The Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Bill (Senate Bill 161), which was passed on third and final reading in the Senate in the 17th Congress but was not filed in the House of Representatives, mandates age appropriate education to prevent pregnancies among the youth. The Universal Social Pension Bill (SB 160) aims to raise the pension for senior citizens from 500 to 1,000 pesos per month, while the Expanded Solo Parents' Welfare Bill (SB 164) provides solo parents a 20% discount on medicine, medical supplies, and basic needs for their children.

The Anti-Child Marriage Bill (SB 162) wants to protect the rights of children by penalizing those who perform marriage rites or proceedings on people who are below 18, while the Strengthened Anti-Rape Law (SB 163) seeks to raise the age of sexual consent from the current 12 to 18 years old.

Hontiveros's On-site, In-city, Near-city Resettlement Bill (SB 167) wants to provide that adequate and thorough consultations between the local government and any informal settlers be done as part of any relocation. The Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Bill (SB 168) will create and implement a comprehensive fisheries management and protection plan to help conserve and protect the country's fisheries and aquatic resources.

Meanwhile, the Strengthened Anti-Hospital Detention Bill (SB 166) imposes stiffer fines on hospitals and clinics that detain deceased patients or patients who have either fully or partially recovered with outstanding bills; at the same time, the Barangay Health Workers Bill (SB 165) seeks to provide basic salaries and statutory benefits such as GSIS, Pag-Ibig and PhilHealth to all Barangay Health Workers.

"These first ten measures are just our initial offering in the 18th Congress to promote equality, health, women's and senior citizens' rights. We will do this even as we continue to defend the country's democracy and sovereignty. The public can be assured that I will continue our track record of hard work and hopefully success for the good of the public," Hontiveros said.

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