MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Monday vowed to file bills that would prove to be controversial, includingn one that would legalize homosexual civil partnerships.
In his speech during the opening of the second regular session of the 17th Congress, the speaker said existing laws exclude certain groups of people, such as the LGBT community.
“Our citizens should not be excluded from society just because of the person they love. They must also be treated with equality before the law,” Alvarez said in his speech.
Alvarez noted that Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman, the first transgender elected to the House of Representatives, provided inputs about the proposed measure.
The speaker stressed that he supports Roman’s fight against discrimination of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals on the basis of their sexuality.
Alvarez also commended Taguig Rep. Pia Cayetano for filing a bill that will “allow for the dissolution of marriage.” During her term as a senator, Cayetano had been vocal in opening a debate on a divorce law.
“Married persons can mutually agree to end their marriage subject to the approval of the court. One of the conditions, which must be complied with, is an agreed upon and executable framework to provide for the care and support of their children,” Alvarez said.
He stressed that previously married persons can remain friends and become better parents at the same time.
Alvarez is also hoping to pass a law that would equalize the right of legitimate children and those who were born out of wedlock.
“It is time to end the unequal treatment of legitimate and illegitimate children. We can start the process by equalizing the legitimes that children receive regardless of whether or not they were born within or outside wedlock. This is an issue of justice and fairness,” the speaker said.
The speaker, a staunch ally of President Rodrigo Duterte, urged his colleagues in the House of Representatives to support such bills. Duterte himself, however, has expressed disapproval of gay marriage.