PANABO CITY – Amidst the long conversations of ethics, traditions, and beliefs, the core of the celebration of Pride Month every June is to uphold the human rights of all people, regardless of their Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression (SOGIE). It is also the season of strengthening campaigns against discrimination and violence that target members of the LGBTQ+ community, which includes Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders, Transsexuals, Queers, Asexuals, and Allies.

Some of the laws and policies that can be cited for the celebration are; (1) Article II, Section 11 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution that enshrines, “The State values the dignity of every person and guarantees full respect for human rights,” (2) Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution, “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws,” and (3) Republic Act No. 9710 or The Magna Carta of Women states that, “All individuals are equal as human beings by virtue of the inherent dignity of each human person. 

No one should therefore suffer discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, gender, age, language, sexual orientation, race, colour, religion, political or other opinions, national, social or geographical origin, disability, property, birth, or other status as established by human rights standards.”

Multiple government agencies have also implemented anti-discriminatory policies. The Civil Service Commission prohibits denial of civil service examinations to LGBTQ+ members and has made sure that the merit and promotion plan of offices inhibits the inclusion of gender as a criterion. The National Police Commission prohibits discrimination on accounts of gender, while the Department of Social Welfare and Development has allowed employees to wear uniforms under their preferred sexual orientation and gender identity.

In Davao del Norte State College, the Office of Gender and Development has organised various seminars on SOGIE, a briefer on the Anti-Discrimination Law, and other relevant topics. The College’s policies and projects are also consulted with GAD to prevent conscious and subconscious discriminatory practices. The College also discourages any acts of discrimination initiated or directed toward its students, faculty members, staff, and clients.