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Isko vows to include LGBTQI community in government if elected president

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno on Wednesday said members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) community would be part of his governance if he wins in the May 2022 presidential election.

"They are not only recognized; they are part of my governance. I have no prejudice with people. As long as you are an asset to the state, you have talents that can be utilized in governance through public service, you are welcome,” Moreno said in a press release. 

Moreno, who is running under the Aksyon Demokratiko party, said that the LGBTQI community was well represented in his office.  He said they are functioning very well with the other members of his staff and with the city hall employees.

"As long as you recognize their skills, their talents, then they excel in their field of undertaking. I have high respect for people, because love begets love; respect begets respect,” he said.

According to Moreno, the reason why the skills and talents of the LGBTQI community have not been fully utilized was prejudice or personal preference of past leaders, whether local or national.

On October 29, 2020, Moreno inked Ordinance 8695, or the Manila LGBTQI Protection Ordinance, which seeks to eliminate "any and all forms of discrimination against LGBTQI solely on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression (SOGIE).”

The ordinance mandates the creation of a Gender Sensitivity and Development Council to oversee its implementation and the establishment of LGBTQI desks in all barangays of the City of Manila. 

Moreno also directed business establishments to build "gender-neutral" toilets within three years after the passage of the ordinance. He warned that failure to comply could be a ground for the non-renewal of business permits.

He also said violators could be penalized through fines and even imprisonment.

Dealing with opposition

Moreno said he would not be hostile to critics of his governance, adding he is willing to listen to the opposition without setting aside the need for urgent action on important matters in government.

"I will try to be reasonable to them. I will listen first to them, kung valid ba ang kanilang pagiging oposisyon sa isang bagay. Then, if it makes sense, then I’ll listen. If not, diretso ulit. Kasi ikaw ang binoto ng tao. Ikaw yung aasahan. Ikaw 'yung mamamahala,” Moreno said. 

(I will listen first to them if their opposition to a certain issue is valid. Then, if it makes sense, then I’ll listen. If not, then I'll move on. People voted for you, they will depend on you.) 

Moreno said that he would encourage dialogue and reason in his administration, but would not let "endless" debates paralyze government operations.

"I try to convince (them) as much as possible. Kasi ang sabi ko sa kanila, basta tayo, malaya ang diskurso. Malaya ang debate. Pero 'yung mga debate, diskurso na ‘yan, walang magagawa sa buhay ng tao ‘yan. Gusto ko, pagtiklop ng araw, may desisyon,” he said.

(I want an open discourse or debate. But debates hardly matter to the lives of the people. A decision has to be made at the end of the day.) 

Moreno, meanwhile, met with ex-government officials such as former Executive Secretary Ruben Torres (Ramos administration) and former Agrarian Reform Secretary Hernani Braganza (Arroyo administration) on Wednesday.

According to GMA News reporter Chino Gaston, Moreno spoke about the food security issue in the country.

Moreno’s camp has not released details of the meeting as of posting time. — VBL, GMA News