Laws

PHILIPPINES

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Age of Consent
Anti-Vilification
Artifical Insemination
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Discrimination
Fostering Children
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Harassment
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Immigration
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Age of ConsentLegislation/Cases/References
1.

National

Consensual sex between same-sex couples is lawful at age eighteen (18) years [R1.1].

R1.1 [Citation required]
Asylum, Immigration, Refugees Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

In November 2002, the Philippine justice department ruled that a family visa cannot be granted to the same-sex spouse of a foreigner working in the country [R1.1].

R1.1 The Advocate: Philippines Won't Grant Visas to Same-sex Spouses 22 NOV 02
Discrimination Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 10 February 2015, the House of Representatives committee on women and gender equality voted 10-2 in favor of the Anti-Discrimination Bill authored by Dinagat Islands Rep Kaka Bag-ao that would make discrimination against employees, refusal to admit a person in an institution, denial of access to health services and harassment by law enforcers on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity unlawful were it to become law [R1.7].

On 22 November 2011, Business World reported that the Senate approved a Senate Bill 2814, titled Anti-Ethnic or Racial Profiling and Discrimination Act of 2011, which defines unlawful discrimination as "the distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference made on the basis of ethnicity, race, religion or belief, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, language, disability or other status which has an effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying" a person's recognition. The measure will extend to employment, educational institutions, and provision of goods and services [R1.6].


On 10 December 2002, after an extensive revision process, the Committee on Civil, Political, and Human Rights of the House of Representatives of the Philippines approved House Bill (HB) 2784 [R1.5].

Previously:

On 05 December 2001, the Committee on Civil, Political, and Human Rights of the House of Representatives of the Philippines approved a comprehensive anti-discrimination bill re-introduced by Rep. Loretta Rosales into the new House of Representatives as House Bill (HB) 2784, subject to potential refiling in the Senate [R1.4].

HB2784, if passed, would provide the first mechanism to safeguard against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the Philippines. It seeks to address discriminatory practices in the following realms:

  • use of sexual orientation in the criteria for hiring, promotion, and dismissal of workers and termination of compensation and benefits;
  • refusal of admission to educational institutions;
  • denial of access to or the use of establishments, facilities, utilities, or services open to the public;
  • denial of access to medical and other health services;
  • denial of access to public services;
  • denial of application for professional licenses issued by the government;
  • denial of application of a license, clearance, certification, or any other document issued by government authorities.

In February 2000, an anti-discrimination bill pending in the Philippine Congress would make it a crime to discriminate against homosexuals [R1.3].


On 17 December 2009, the Philippines Commission on Elections upheld its earlier decision to block the LGBT group Ang Ladlad from registering as a political party and fielding a candidate for Congress in the May national election [R1.2].

On 08 April 2010 the decision was overturned – see Courts & Tribunals (below) [R2.1].


In May 1997, Senator Blas Ople reportedly revealed that the Philippines have a law prohibiting gays from registering as a party, organisation or coalition in the party-list system used in elections [R1.1].

2.

Provinces

On 21 July 2014, the 16th Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Agusan Del Norte (Provincial Board of Agusan Del Norte) enacted into its local law the Provincial Ordinance No. 358-2014, the Agusan del Norte Anti-Discrimination Ordinance, making it unlawful to deny a person access to public programs and services and work promotion on the basis of gender expression, gender identity and sexual orientatio [R2.1].

3.

Cities & Towns

On 03 March 2017, it was reported that Baguio City Council passed legislation to punish discrimination based on religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity, disability and age, with penalties ranging from P1,000 to P5,000 or imprisonment of one to 30 days. The ordinance describes discrimination as ''a distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference made on the basis of disability, age, health status, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity and religion which has the purpose or effect of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing of the human rights and fundamental freedoms in the civil, political, economic, social, cultural, or any other field of public life of a person'' [R3.7].

On 27 January 2015, the historic Vigan City was reported to have passed an anti-discrimination ordinance (ADO) covering sexual orientation and gender identity bans discrimination in employment, education, access to goods and services, accommodation, access to public places/facilities/meeting places, and access to commercial establishments, as well as in political participation, wrongful portrayal and inciting others to commit acts of discrimination. Anyone convicted for the first time under under the ADO will be punished with 'admonition and a fine of P1,000 ($22.70, €20.05). Second offenders are liable to imprisonment for no more than 10 days and a fine of P2,000 ($45.40, €40.10). A third conviction will be penalized with 15 days in jail and a fine of P5,000 ($113.50, €100.35) [R3.6].

On 29 September 2014, Quezon City Council approved an ordinance banning discrimination against LGBTI people in employment, education, delivery of goods or services, insurance and access to accommodation [R3.5].

On 05 February 2014, the Davao City Anti-discrimination Ordinance was transmitted to City Hall for approval by the mayor. The measure lapsed into law after the expiration of 10 days [L3.4], [R3.3].

On 19 February 2013, Angeles passed the Anti Discrimination Ordinance (Prohibiting Any Acts of Discrimination within the City of Angeles on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) [R3.2].


On 17 October 2012, the Cebu City Council passed a landmark ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, disability, age, health status, ethnicity and religion in the provision of public programs and services and educational institutions or to deny medical and other health services, transportation and other facilities based on those biases [R3.1].

First-time offenders will be fined P1,000 or imprisoned for one day to 30 days. Second-time offenders will face a fine of P3,000 or suffer imprisonment of one day to 30 days or both at the discretion of the court. For successive offenses, violators will be fined P5,000 or be imprisoned for one day to 30 days or face both at the discretion of the court [R3.1].

4.

Courts & Tribunals

On 08 April 2010, the Philippine Supreme Court voting 13–2 overturned a decision by the Elections Commission barring the gay rights group Ang Ladlad (Out of the Closet) from contesting national elections in May and recognized it as a legitimate political party for the first time [R4.1].

1. National
R1.7 GayStarNews: Philippines' anti-gay discrimination bill hurdles committee level 12 FEB 15
R1.6 Lesbian / Gay Law Notes: International Notes: Philippines PDF 423.20kb, 02 DEC 11 at 260
R1.5 IGLHRC: House Committee Approves Revised Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Anti-Discrimination Bill 16 JAN 03
R1.4 IGLHRC Alert: House Committee Approves "In Principle" Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Anti-Discrimination Bill 18 DEC 01
R1.3 Kyodo News Service: Philippine Bill to Outlaw Discrimination on Sexual Grounds 10 FEB 00
R1.2 PinkPaper: Gays blocked from fielding candidate in Philippine election 22 DEC 09
R1.1 Brother Sister: Gays Banned from Election 29 MAY 97
2. Provinces
R2.1 hapihumanist: Agusan del Norte one of the first to enact anti-discrimination law 20 AUG 14
3. Cities & Towns
R3.7 Fridae: Philippine City Passes Anti-discrimination Ordinance 03 MAR 17
R3.6 GayStarNews: Philippines: Vigan city bans anti-gay hate 27 JAN 15
R3.5 GayStarNews: Philippines largest city passes gay anti-hate law 02 OCT 14
L3.4 Ordinance No. 0417-12: Anti-discrimination Ordinance of Davao City PDF 821.81kb, 11 FEB 14
R3.3 SunStar: Anti-discrimination ordinance now at City Hall 14 FEB 14
R3.2 GayStarNews: Angeles in the Philippines bans discrimination against LGBT people 20 FEB 113
R3.1 fridæ: Cebu becomes first province in the Philippines to pass anti-discrimination law 19 OCT 12
R4.1 365Gay.com: Philippine Supreme Court allows gay party in polls 08 APR 10

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Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [AGE OF CONSENT]
1.

National

In 1823, consensual sex between same-sex couples becamse lawful [R1.1].

R1.1 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 700.06kb, 13 MAY 09
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 07 December 2009, Manila Rep. Bienvenido Abante Jr., a former pastor and advocate against pornography introduced a bill to criminalize gay marriage which would if passed impose penalties of 15 years in prison and a fine 150,000 Philippine Pesos [R1.2].

In August 2001, the Philippine House of Representatives was considering a bill to amend the Family Code which would define marriage as the union of a "natural-born" male with a "natural-born" female, thereby denying marriage rights to transgender persons, among others [R1.1].

"Natural born" is defined as referring " … to a person who was born with the necessary biological and physical components such as sexual organs, hormones or other characteristics present in human … " [males or females as the case may be].

The bill specifically makes void from the beginning "Those [marriages] contracted between persons either of which has undergone a sex change operation, with or without the knowledge of either partner."

The measure, House Bill No. 1503 was introduced by Rep. Rozzano Rufino Biazon (Lone District, Muntinlupa).

R1.2 The Advocate: Philippines to Criminalize Gay Marriage 09 DEC 09
R1.1 IGLHRC Alert: "Philippines: Defend Transgender Rights" 30 AUG 01
Military, Police Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 20 January 2017, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Public Affairs, Colonel Edgard Arevalo reportedly said the AFP is welcoming LGBT Filipinos to sign up, subject to their acting and behaving with dignity and respect for the uniform [R1.4].

On 10 July 2012, Philippine Military Academy (PMA) superintendent Major General Nonato Peralta announced that openly gay boys and girls were welcome to join the cadets [R1.3].

On 21 May 2012, the Philippine National Police (PNP) was reported to be showing a more accepting attitude towards homosexuality by stating it is open to recruiting gays into its ranks, with the exception of cross dressing gays [R1.2].

As at November 2009, openly gay, lesbian and bisexuals were prohibited from serving in the army; [R1.1].

R1.4 GayStarNews: Philippines army: LGBTs can join us, but please 'behave properly' 20 JAN 17
R1.3 GayStarNews: Gays are allowed in the cadets, Philippine military says 11 JUL 12
R1.2 GayStarNews: Philippine police fine with gay cops 20 MAY 12
R1.1 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 700.06kb, 13 MAY 09

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