SOGIE at the Heart of Pag-IBIG Fund’s Gender and Development Agenda

SPARK Program Manager, Hamilcar Chanjueco Jr., was invited as the guest speaker during the State of the Fund Address (SOFA) of Pag-IBIG Fund. Being a staunch advocate of LGBT Rights and Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression (SOGIE) Education in the Philippines, Ham shared a narrative of his journey while touching on the subjects of SOGIE and the Anti-Discrimination Bill which was recently passed in the House of Representatives.

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In his speech, Ham highlighted the discrimination that members of the gay community experience in a day-to-day basis: discrimination in employment, lack of access to government services, and bullying. He also added the fact that the exclusion of LGBTs in economic and socio-cultural activities has impacts to the development of the country.

“That we can also be directors, managers, movers of the economy. That we are able to engage in sports, politics and business. That we are humans too and we deserve your respect and love.”

He emphasized that the fight of women and LGBTs are not so different. According to him, history says that both sectors fought side by side to achieve equality in all spheres. He ended his speech in encouraging the officials of Pag-IBIG Fund to include the promotion of equality in the workplace and zero tolerance to gender-based violence as part of their priority agenda.

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The Home Development Mutual Fund (abbreviated as HDMF), more popularly known as the Pag-IBIG Fund, is a government-owned and controlled corporation responsible for the administration of the national savings program and affordable shelter financing for Filipinos employed by local and foreign-based employers as well as voluntary and self-employed members.

The SOFA is a quarterly gathering of HDMF top officials to discuss about the milestones and updates of the fund. It has been a tradition that a certain topic is highlighted every SOFA. SOGIE has been the chosen topic for this quarter’s SOFA as suggested by its Gender Focal Point System led by its Gender and Development (GAD) Chair Mr. Florentino E. España, Jr.

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[FROM L-R] AVELINA MIRANDA, HOUSING OPERATIONS SUPPORT UNIT HEAD; JERRILYN PILAR, MEMBER RELATIONS DEPARTMENT MANAGER AND GAD VICE CHAIRPERSON; HAMILCAR CHANJUECO JR., SPARK PROGRAM MANAGER; ATTY. RYAN ESPINOSA, HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

Gearing towards a gender-responsive government institution, Pag-IBIG Fund’s efforts on gender mainstreaming has expounded to the inclusion of LGBTs in their programs and services.