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Senate Bill 689 SOGIE Bill Penalizes Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity or Expression. RA11908 Legislates Parent Effectiveness Service Program.
When SOGIE meets Government mandated Parent Effectiveness Service program training, what sort of society will result? I end the discussion with the tale of "A Modern Family in the New Philippines".
The Philippines 1987 Constitution, under Article III Bill of Rights, Section 1 recognizes that all Filipinos are equal under law “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.”
The Philippines SOGIE Bill (12 pages) [An Act Prohibiting Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity or Expression (SOGIE) and providing Penalties Therefor], is a penal bill with penalties ranging from PHP100,000 to PHP250,000 and 1 to 6 years imprisonment for infringement. The bill has been under development for more than 20 years, having first been filed in the Congress in 2000, it has been and continues to be hotly debated.
The bill has been introduced in specific stated response to international instruments and conventions to which the Philippines is a signatory.
Towards this end, the State shall exert efforts to address all forms of discrimination and violence on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and to promote human dignity as enshrined in the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, particularly General Recommendation No. 28 on Nondiscrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and all other relevant and universally accepted human rights instruments and other international conventions to which the Philippines is a signatory.
This bill introduces legislation that effectively gives additional protections from Discriminatory Practices (Sec. 5.) to Communities Vulnerable to Discrimination and Abuse on the Basis of SOGIE (Sec. 4.), not on the basis of any actual physical characteristics, but on the basis of an individuals’ perceived gender being outside the genetic & physiological parameters where XY chromosomes = male, and XX chromosomes = female; on their sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression. [Supporters of the Bill will deny my statement: claiming that heterosexual is also an orientation that is protected under the bill. However, Sec. 9. Redress Mechanisms for SOGIE-related discrimination cases requires special training for personnel, special facilities, help desks, etc., to deal with specific SOGIE concerns.].
I would recommend reading of the bill to get some idea of its nuances. Key clauses which are part of this bill that I found to be particularly alarming include:-
Section 5. Discriminatory Practices, it shall be unlawful for any person, natural or juridicial, to:
a. Promote and encourage stigma on the basis of SOGIE in the media, in educational textbooks, and other medium. Inciting violence and sexual abuse against any person or group on the basis of SOGIE is likewise prohibited;
Will this require the rewriting of all text books to specifically recognize SOGIE, to specifically recognize gender fluidity? Will there be a burning of all books which profess there to be only 2 genders? What of the bible, which appears to condemn homosexuality in Noah and Ham (Genesis 9:20–27), Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:1–11), Levitical laws condemning same-sex relationships (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13), Second Testament vice lists (1 Corinthians 6:9–10; 1 Timothy 1:10), and Paul's letter to the Romans (Romans 1:26–27).? Will it also be burned? Rewritten?
Section 5 c. Refuse admission or expel a person from any educational or training institution on the basis of SOGIE: Provided, however, That the right of educational and training institutions to determine the academic qualifications of their students or trainees shall be duly upheld;
No more male or female schools or institutions. A women identifying as man, may now attend a seminary and train as a catholic priest, or enter any “men’s only club” without question. A boy or man identifying as a woman may enter women-only institutions and all facilities therein.
Section 5 i. Subject or force any person to undertake any medical or psychological examination to determine or alter the person's SOGIE without the expressed approval of the person involved, except in cases where the person involved is a minor and below the age of discernment in which case prior approval of the appropriate Family Court shall be required. In the latter case, the child shall be represented in the proceedings by the Solicitor General or the latter's authorized representative;
From my medical background, I find this clause particularly alarming. Consider that gender is determined by hormones (pre- and post-natal). Brain function and attraction is also determined by hormone levels. Social conditioning and peer influences can also affect people’s interests and orientations. Then there are “gender-bending” chemicals and substances abundant in the environment that suppress and imbalance hormones. What if a persons gender orientation is not just a free choice to be supported, but is a physiological state? A psycho-socially determined state to at least some extent? What if there is a medical issue? Assessment and treatment could be denied. There is a fine line between support and discrimination, between judgement and appropriate medical interventions.
This section also places any case regarding a minor child into the “appropriate Family Court”. Is the child’s family is removed from consideration?
When orientation is used to push surgical gender changes, hormone regimes, why is the direction only away from the birth chromosomes? Shouldn’t the push be equal, or even greater, towards helping the person find ways to be comfortable with their birth biology?
There are transitioned transgender children in the US suing medical establishments which failed to conduct thorough physical and psychological evaluations, and to offer physical and psychological support, and instead simply resorted to catastrophic, irreversible surgeries.
International concerns that have been noted, in no particular order or guaranteed completeness:-
Boys and Girls Schools will be compelled to accept students based on their declared orientation, regardless of the physiological gender.
Locker rooms and public bathrooms will no longer be gender specific. Some venues may provide gender specific and mixed facilities. This may not be logistically possible for many. There are privacy, security, and safety issues.
Men, identifying as women, may participate in women’s sport as women. Women cannot physically compete against men on an equal basis. Women athletes are at best being denied the awards and reward of their training and at worst may be severely injured [female wrestler sent to hospital after competition against an XY chromosomes person who identified as female]. [The news has many stories of physiological men identifying as women to compete in female sports, but none of women identifying as men in order to compete against them'].
Sexual preference have been caged to include “Minor Attracted Persons”. This is an adult who is sexual attracted to a child. I.e. a pedophile! It will be illegal to profile any person or even conduct screening for such a situation in case of suspected concerns.
Chromosome linked differences in physical capacity can no longer be recognized in work, sport, or even safety concerns.
Gender is recognized as fluid. A criminally charged rapist may identify as a women to ensure he is imprisoned in a female facility. He could then revert. What an opportunity!
Hormones are intricately linked with sexual identity and attraction. Psychological factors and psychosocial factors also determine identity and expression. This bill explicitly denies medical and psychological assessment.
I want to move now to a second bill which implementation will be very much affected by the SOGIE bill, if it is passed.
RA11908 - The Parent Effectiveness Service Program Act
Another bill which has just come to my attention is RA11908. This bill quietly and unnoticed lapsed into law1 on 28 July 2022. It is known by its short name as “The Parent Effectiveness Services Program Act”. I was prompted to read this bill once I saw this article which reported on the signing of the IRR2s. Link to the IRR signing ceremony (FB live 15th June 2023, 39 minutes, mostly Tagalog language), here; funders including UNICEF, Council for the Welfare of Children were mentioned at 15:30.
The bill sounds very nice! It is in-line with the nation’s policy to recognize the sanctity of human life, to strengthen families, to protect children.
It will train parents, caregivers, to be good parents, though their completion of Modules to be taught as part of a Parent Effectiveness Service (PES) program. The implementers of the PES Program will be the local government units (LGUs).
Sec. 4 b Module refers to a component subject consisting of a written material to be taught in a specified number of sessions that, together with other modules, shall count towards the completion of the PES Program;
Sec.4 c PES Program refers to a program on the provision and expansion of knowledge and skills of parents and parent-substitutes on parenting to be able to respond to parental duties and responsibilities on the areas of early childhood development, behavior management of younger and older children, husband-wife relationships, prevention of child abuse, health care, and other challenges of parenting. It assists parents and parent-substitutes to develop and strengthen their knowledge and skills so they can assume the major educational role in their child’s growth and development;
Sec.5 Establishment of PES Program, sets out that these shall be implemented in every city and municipality and shall consist of modules to be developed by the DSWD, in coordination with the Department of Education (DepEd), the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Council, the School Governing Councils (SGCs), the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and rolled out in such number of sessions as the DSWD and the LGUs may prescribe.
Coverage will include 11 areas of focus: a) Parents and Parent-Substitutes and their roles and needs, b) The Filipino Family, c) Challenges of Parenting, d) Child Development, e) Keeping Children Safe from Abuse, f) Building the Child’s Positive Behavior, g) Health and Nutrition, h) Home Management, i) Keeping a Healthy Physical Environment for the Child, j) Keeping Children Safe in Times of Disasters, l) Investment in Adolescents.
The DSWD shall regularly review and update the foregoing principles to keep abreast with the developments on responsible and effective parenting and may develop and prescribe additional modules as may be necessary.
Under Sec.7 Implementing Tools,
The PES Program, particularly the parent effectiveness sessions, shall be implemented by the cities and municipalities through their respective social welfare and development offices and LGUs.
Parent effectiveness sessions shall be conducted in every barangay at such schedule and interval to be determined by the social welfare and the LGU officers concerned. For this purpose, the officers shall, on an annual basis, prepare and submit to the local chief executive a complete program and schedule of the parent effectiveness sessions covering all barangays of their respective jurisdictions.
Reaching parents to facilitate and share skills and knowledge about parenting and support to learning may include home visits which may be effective to recognize, respect, and build on existing strengths of parents and parent-substitutes .
Private organizations accredited by the DSWD may also implement the PES Program in coordination with the concerned LGU.
Are these program beneficial for children, their caregivers and families, and society, or do they constitute government intrusion far into the family and its function?
How will these modules be taught and assessed in the light of the SOGIE bill, if it is passed? How will biology and male-female roles be approached? How will gender, orientation, gender sensitivity and non-discrimination be taught?
Who are the private accredited organizations that will be brought in to implement the PES Program?
Will these programs be onerous and expensive for families?
What will be taught? Will the materials be politically motivated and agenda driven? Or will they provide time-tested knowledge and skills?
The PES Program is presented as mandatory to be conducted. Will attendance also be mandatory? What are the penalties for families that do not comply? Will they lose their children? Will families need to complete modules before they are permitted to have children?
This seemingly genial empowering “build the village” to “build healthy resilient children” bill may not be what it seems. There is also the danger that it may easily be coopted to vested interests.
Unfortunately in light of the W.H.O and UN One World Government all programs need to be looked at extremely critically.
This is my first look at both of these bills. Legal and constitutional experts need to take a very close look at what each bill means and how it links in with other bills already passed and/or pending.
A MODERN FAMILY IN THE NEW PHILIPPINES
Unlike the old days, when life had been less complicated, the path to marriage, to having and raising children required many permits and authorizations. Falling in love was easy: but then came the compulsory attendance at premarital courses3 by both church and the LGUs. After months of efforts and days of training, the couple was finally given a marriage permit and could celebrate their union.
When they wanted to add children to their family the couple applied for permission, taking pains to meet all conditions of the PES program, to attend and pass the written exams of the LGU-provided-in-collaboration-with-the-W.H.O. Modules, which would finally qualify them as knowledgeable, and competent to become parents. With medical and genetic fitness clearances also received, the receipt of Certificate of Authority to Have a Child was celebrated joyously.
The parents still had to wait for the provincial birth quota approval. Children had to be carefully planned for to ensure their birth did not breach Net Zero Targets for their home Barangay. Any accidental pregnancy would result in heavy penalties for the erring Barangay, and possible relocation of the offenders to the undesirable, poorly serviced “repopulation regions”. Carbon allocations did not allow for the feeding of any unplanned mouths.
Two years later, the couple received the permit which would allow them to stop taking the contraceptives which the Barangay had delivered monthly and checked their compliance with via blood tests, interviews, and the in-house biometric surveillance system which was standard in all state-approved housing. Their receipt of Certificate of Authority to Conceive was again joyously celebrated. They signed agreement to monthly home visits by the Barangay Health Enforcers who would provide medications, and monitor their health and readiness each step of the way. They enrolled in and scheduled attendance at the required PES refresher modules.
The birthing parent, after months of close monitoring, delivered a pair of beautiful healthy twins. Quite a celebration, as most families were only blessed with one child to raise; few going through the elaborate and expensive process to apply for the right to bear a second child.
Although the one of the babies presented with a penis and other with a vagina, as had been drilled during under the PES Program, their parents were careful not to draw any conclusions on gender. The babies must be free to decide their own gender and sexual orientation once they were old enough to express their preferences. If needed, in time, the children would be provided with hormones or even surgery to support their choices. The birthing parent knew how tenuous the right to raise their children was: neighbors had lost their children to the state for seemingly minor non-compliances, even simply for questioning the way things were done.
The babies were dressed in state-mandated infant clothing: all neutral colors that would dissuade adults from judging gender and inadvertently grooming the children towards any particular orientation.
The birthing parent and the non-birthing partner held the babies close enjoying the special moments that would pass so quickly and then be gone except in memory. The babies would attend full-time nursery from 6 months on, at the end of the compulsory chest feeding period, when the state would teach them all that they needed to know, while both parents returned to full-time productive work.
Parent-children contact would be monitored to ensure compliance with PES Principles which would ensure that the children were kept safe at all times and would grow up to be model citizens of, the future for, the Blessed Philippines Nation.
The modern Philippines, which under tutelage of W.H.O. authorities literally fed the world, it’s people proud to be the world’s leading agriculturalists!
All discussions are my personal thoughts, provided for entertainment only. Please conduct your only research and draw your own conclusions. Please consult legal and constitutional experts for definitive opinions.
The Tale is just that, a Story. It may or may not represent the future, in part or in full. The outcome is up to you!
A bill may become a law, even without the President’s signature, if the President does not sign a bill within 30 days from receipt in his office. A bill may also become a law without the President’s signature if Congress overrides a presidential veto by two-thirds vote. Philippines legislative procedures are explained in this Link.
IRR = Implementing Rules and Regulations. I haven’t been able to find a published copy of these yet.
Attendance at such courses is a compulsory pre-requisite for marriage in the Philippines.