Press Release
February 15, 2023

STATEMENT OF SENATOR RISA HONTIVEROS ON THE PH TOPPING YOUTH BULLYING

The data on bullying among our youth have been extremely alarming, even more so as gender-based or SOGIE bullying has been clearly established as one of the major causes.

Therefore, just as bullying and mental health of our children are non-debatable priorities for Congress, then, it is just as important to acknowledge the struggles of our LGBTQIA+ youth.

This is one of the reasons I filed the SOGIE Equality bill-- to protect these vulnerable youth. We cannot solve bullying and enhance mental health without making these basic protections for our children explicit in our laws.

In SY 2021-2022 alone, DepEd reported 7,800 cases of gender-based bullying.

The Inter-agency Task Team on Young Key Populations, or vulnerable youth aged 10-24 years old, conducted a South East Asian regional survey, including the Philippines, on Stigma, Discrimination and Gender-based violence in the COVID-19 pandemic. The results showed that 40% of the LGBTQIA+ youth respondents reported that they had faced gender-based violence, and 50% reported that they had suffered stigma and discrimination during the pandemic.

Another study by Galang Philippines in 2015 shows that 18% of the LGBTQIA+ community averaging 24 years old attempted suicide. Suicide rates have drastically risen among the youth in general since then.

The numbers are telling a clear-cut story. If we say we are concerned about the future of our youth, then we should heed the data. As long as we are in denial, our children will continue to suffer the long-term consequences.

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