Evidence-building and piloting of the LGBTI local employment assistance programmeIslands of Southeast Asia Network on Male and Transgender Sexual Health (ISEAN),OpenCall for Proposalclosing date: 31 Dec 2018Grantee
Formulation of the Talaandig tribe’s Indigenous Peoples Plan in the Palaopao and Upper Mangima Tribal CommunitiesMPUMATRIC, Inc.Grantee
Bicol Empowerment Project for a Sustainable LGBT CommunityGAYON Albay LGBT Org., Incorporated
The Republic of the Philippines, or the Philippines, is one of the four Voice focus countries in Southeast Asia. The democratic republic is situated in the western Pacific Ocean. The country is home to a vibrant civil society, with a rapidly shifting civic space. In terms of governance and politics, it is marred by issues of graft and corruption and lack of transparency and accountability. The quality of basic social services remains low and inaccessible to poor Filipinos, especially the most marginalised and discriminated sectors.
The context analysis below summarises the situation in 2017 that led to prioritising issues affecting the Voice target groups.
The democratic nature of the Philippines makes it one of the most developed civil society sectors in the developing world. Despite these advances, government policies, programmes, and projects for the marginalised groups are not implemented properly and efficiently. Some of the identified reasons of these backlogs include lack of understanding and knowledge on existing policies for the marginalised groups, lack of participatory governance mechanisms at the local level, lack of resources and competencies, and exclusions rooted on religious and historical discourses.
Status Quo of Voice Target Groups
The 2017 Context Analysis provides an overview of the standing of the Voice marginalised groups in the Philippines.
Philippines has a broad definition and measurement for persons with disabilities. It is primarily defined from a medical perspective and is confined to accessible areas of the country. Despite the government’s incentive for private companies to hire PWDs in the workplace, stereotypes and discrimination towards PWDs prevail.
In schools, children living with disabilities face the worst forms of exclusion. This is rooted from institutional and societal exclusion that restrains children from having their right to decent and accessible education.
The Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders, and Intersex (LGBTI) are tolerated in the country, but not accepted wholly. The LGBT community have limited access to economic job opportunities and have been continuously bound by demeaning stereotypes.
In the medical field, health professionals are ill-equipped on dealing with health issues particularly by transgenders. Many are avoiding HIV testing due to prevailing stigma against them, along with the poor treatment of healthcare workers. LGBTs social exclusion affects their psychological and mental health causing depression, suicidal tendencies and conflicts with their families. LGBT students continue to face institutional discrimination in schools. Some universities even ban same-sex relationships and expressions.
Gender equality is not new in the Philippines. Despite being one of the top 10 countries in gender equality, violence against women prevails. Data and statistics are up-to-date in terms of cases of violence and abuse. However, there are inadequate services and lack of access to justice for women and girls facing exploitation, abuse, and/or violence. Women living with HIV and AIDS are in a disadvantaged position for accessing services. Poverty continues to re-victimise women and girls.
Age-discriminated groups such as the youth are being left behind in health facilities due to absence of services for them, particularly on Sexual Reproductive Health. This creates a clash on the rapid drift of teenage pregnancy cases in the country. There is also an ongoing, pervasive norm towards youth and stigmas on discussions around sexuality.
Despite being a young population, the Philippines is bound to become an ageing society by 2030. The Philippine Constitution mandates the protection of the elderly’s welfare yet they comprise one-eight percent of the country’s poorest sector. Older persons are discriminated in the workplace due to their age. Minimal pension schemes and private healthcare plans add to the multiple burden the elderly people face in the country.
Philippines has rich diversity and ethnic culture. The Indigenous Peoples and Ethnic Minorities are situated all over the country. For them, their economic standing is mainly based on their access to ancestral lands which are continuously taken for “development projects” such as logging and mining, dams, biofuels, to name a few. These so-called development efforts force them to become displaced. Toppled with poverty, IPs do not have direct access to basic government services such as education, health, and even water.
These sectors, which are the focus groups of Voice, face the following challenges: lack of access to legal protection and justice, social discrimination/stigma, abuse and violence, poverty and discrimination in employment, inadequate and poor social services and social protection, political exclusion and clientilism, invisibility in national data, and spatial exclusion.
It is in this regard that Voice Philippines calls on civil society organisations to join hands and develop initiatives that will help address these problems, and support the empowerment of the said sectors. For more details on the specific sectoral issues, please see the baseline report infographics.
CALL FOR PROPOSALS FOR THE PERIOD 2018-2019
Applicants are encouraged to examine situation and policy environment of the Voice target groups as laid out in an in-depth report. Proposals are expected to address at least one of the challenges stated in the report and illustrated in the baseline report infographics.
We are inviting applications from civil society organisations to fulfill the global call to leave no one behind and address national and local concerns. Call for Proposals are now open for Empowerment, Influencing, Innovate and Learn, and Sudden Opportunity grants.
Before submitting any proposals, please make sure to read our Grant Manual and take the eligibility test. Also, please review and consider how your proposed programming may impact upon the Voice focus areas.
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