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Recognizing that a significant portion of our society is experiencing treatments detrimental to their holistic well-being, several groups in Cebu City expressed their support for the passage of the Cebu City Anti-Discrimination Ordinance (CCADO) which prohibits discrimination in Cebu City on the basis of disability, age, health status, sexual orientation and gender identity, ethnicity and religion. This ordinance is proposed by Councilor Alvin Dizon and is being backed up by five other members of the Sanguniang Panlalawigan of Cebu City.
Yesterday, I and other comrades from the Philippine Atheists and Agnostics Society (PATAS) Cebu Chapter attended an open forum on the ordinance held at the Moot Court of University of San Carlos' School of Law and Governance. We showed our support for the pending local bill by expressing our statement of support in front of the audience primarily composed of students from the university. I admire the Supreme Student Council of the University of San Carlos for organizing the said event which somehow shed light to the students on what the CCADO is all about. Neil Steve Kinatanar, a clinical psychologist and a member of the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP) also gave a talk on the basics of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Psychology which enabled everyone to gain better understanding on LGBT identity and its components. Neil's presentation was similar to the one he presented during the LGBT Forum at the 49th Annual Convention of PAP at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino.
With all the progressive discussions happening, one might wonder how, when and in what manner discrimination could happen which could lead one to questioning the relevance of such ordinance in the context of Cebu City. The online Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines discrimination as prejudiced or prejudicial outlook, action, or treatment. One, therefore, could experience discrimination if he/she is categorically denied human rights on the basis of prejudice. I am positive that such ordinance will soon be passed and implemented in the city of Cebu.