Sorsogon Governor Chiz Escudero said he hopes to replicate the establishment of a shelter for the elderly and abandoned members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in every local government unit (LGU) across the country, similar to what he is doing now in his home province.
Sorsogon is already preparing the site for its first LGBT home or the Home for Homeless Gays, and Escudero wants to institutionalize the creation of such shelter nationwide through a law which he plans to introduce when he wins the senatorial election in the May 9 voting for a fresh six-year mandate, in order to secure the safety and well-being of the less fortunate members of the community.
“If we are committed to giving equal opportunities for all, every public servant should look after the welfare of their marginalized constituents, including the elderly and homeless LGBTs.”
“If we are committed to giving equal opportunities for all, every public servant should look after the welfare of their marginalized constituents, including the elderly and homeless LGBTs,” the governor said.
“Dapat yakapin natin ang lahat ng sektor ng lipunan para sa pantay-pantay na pagkalinga at tulong, kabilang at kahanay rito ang mga nasa LBGT community,” he added.
According to Escudero, he plans to include in his proposal funding for LGBT shelters, which will be supervised by LGUs and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
In Sorsogon, he said the provincial government has already started preparing the site for the construction of the Home for the Homeless Gays after a private citizen donated a 1,500-square meter lot in support of the governor’s vision to provide a sanctuary for the LGBTs in need. The shelter will also have a livelihood training center for all LGBT members in the province.
“Nais din nating silang bigyan ng kasanayang pangkabuhayan at bagong pagkakataon upang may pagkakitaan.”
“Hindi lang bubong at masisilungan ang gusto nating ipagkaloob sa ating mga may edad at inabandonang miyembro ng LGBT community. Nais din nating silang bigyan ng kasanayang pangkabuhayan at bagong pagkakataon upang may pagkakitaan,” said Escudero, the only incumbent governor who is seeking a seat in the Senate.
He has been a longtime supporter of the LGBT community, pushing for equal opportunities for all regardless of sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or political affiliation.
When he was a senator in the 17th Congress, Escudero supported the passage of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill, also known as the Anti-Discrimination Bill.
In the 16th Congress, he co-authored Senate Bill 2358, an older version of the Anti-Discrimination Bill, which makes any form of discrimination a “crime against humanity and human dignity”.
The bill prohibits discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, race, religion or belief, sex or gender or sexual orientation, language, disability, educational attainment, and other forms of discrimination.
Escudero also participated in the “I dare to care about equality” campaign spearheaded by the Bahaghari Center for SOGIE Research, Education and Advocacy Inc. (Bahaghari Center) as one of its champions in fighting discrimination.