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SOGIE inclusion advances in Zambo City's Gender and Development initiatives

ZAMBOANGA CITY (PIA) – Zamboanga City is taking significant steps in embracing diversity and promoting gender equality. In a society that strives for inclusivity and equal opportunities for all, the city integrates Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) into its Gender and Development (GAD) initiatives, fostering a more inclusive and equitable community.

The city's commitment to the cause is evident in its strong support for SOGIEfying GAD programs. Zamboanga City has made it a priority to recognize and address the unique challenges faced by individuals with diverse SOGIEs. This commitment is rooted in the belief that everyone, irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender identity, should have equal access to opportunities and be treated with respect and dignity.

During the Pagduyog 2023: Sharing of Best Practices Congress held on August 30, an event coordinated by Mujer-LGBT in partnership with Yayasan Hivos through its Free to Be Me Program and supported by the Dutch Government, several local governments including the City Government of Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro City, Municipality of San Remigio, Cebu City, Iloilo City, and General Santos City, were recognized for their exemplary implementation of GAD activities.

The aim of the event was to share the commitment of local government units in advancing the rights and welfare of individuals who identify as part of gender and sexual minorities.

Awarding of Plaque and Certificate of Recognition to Zamboanga City GAD Office during PAGDUYOG 2023. (Photo courtesy of Zamboanga City GAD Office)
Plaque of recognition to the City Government of Zamboanga during PAGDUYOG 2023. (Photo courtesy of Zamboanga City GAD Office)

The City Government of Zamboanga was recognized for its continuous support and role as one of the LGU partners in SOGIEfying GAD initiatives through incorporation of SOGIESC principles in its local GAD Code and continued enhancement of the integration of these principles in its programs, plans and activities. 

“More than the recognition, our challenge still continues as we need to further strengthen our mechanisms in addressing the issues and concerns of people of diverse SOGIESC,” said Wilfredo Aporongao, head and focal of Zamboanga City GAD office.

Zamboanga City has also enacted policies and ordinances that explicitly protect the rights of LGBTQIA+ individuals. These policies not only promote non-discrimination but also actively work towards creating an environment in which everyone feels safe and valued.

Further, to ensure that city employees and officials are well-informed about SOGIE issues, the city regularly conducts sensitization and training programs. This helps reduce prejudice and fosters a more inclusive atmosphere in government offices and services.

Zamboanga City aims to have a community free from violence and discrimination, “we call on every Zamboangueños to continue to advocate for a society that values and respects every individual; that embraces differences and supports one another,” Aporongao added. (KSA/MLE/PIA9-Zamboanga City)

About the Author

Myra Cel Espinosa

Information Officer III

Region 9

Myra Espinosa is an Information Officer of the Philippine Information Agency Region IX.  She writes news and feature stories for the agency's website and social media platforms. She is currently the program host of Kapihan na Zamboanga Public Briefing, as well as a news contributor for PTV News. She holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration Major in Organization and Management from Western Mindanao State University.

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