The City Government of Isabela under the leadership of Mayor Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman through City Information Officer and concurrent GAD Focal Mendry-Ann Lim welcomed the presence of the team spearheading the Mindanao-wide human rights caravan composed of Mujer-LGBT Organization Inc. President/Executive Director Alvin Toni Gee Fernandez, Dr. Jerrick Gerard Go of the CHR Institute of Commission on Human Rights, human rights defender and filmmaker Rhadem Musawah and other human rights advocates, March 20 at Sakayan Conference Room, Isabela City Hall.
Dr. Go applauded the City Government of Isabela for being the best LGU role model in the promotion and protection of human rights, following the city’s recent enactment of the Philippines’ first local ordinance on the protection of human rights’ defenders and further conveyed interest in learning and adopting its best practices.
Meanwhile, Executive Director Fernandez on the other hand called for strengthening partnership with LGUs like Isabela City to be allies in facilitating gender responsiveness and inclusivity by promoting equal representation of persons with diverse SOGIESC (Sexual Orientation Gender Identity and Expression and Sex Characteristics) in all levels of government plans, programs and policies and increasing awareness on human rights law.
CIO and GAD Focal Lim expressed the Isabela City GAD Unit’s commitment in promoting gender equality through gender responsive and gender accountable programs, projects and activities and encouraged the submission of proposals from the SOGIESC for the GAD planning and budgeting for the succeeding calendar year, reiterating that inclusivity is the key to a happy and dignified life for all.
Also present in the meeting were SAO Robert Arseña and representatives of Lingkatan LGBTQ Organization of Isabela City.
Isabela de Basilan is the first local partner of the Human Rights Caravan among the 10 chosen LGUs in Mindanao and shall host the training on March 22. The event was made possible through the collaborative efforts of the German Embassy Manila, Human Rights Institute of the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines, Google and Mujer-LGBT Organization Incorporated. (Words by J. Rojas/Photos by M. Santos, CIO)