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House lists same-sex union bill as priority

By: Ben R. Rosario

The leadership of the House of Representatives has placed the controversial proposal for the legalization of same-sex civil union in the list of priorities in the mid-term session of the 17th Congress that starts July 24, but this time, the bill will cover live-in heterosexual couples who do not want to be legally hitched.

In a press conference, House Deputy Speaker and Cebu City Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia said the leadership wanted to “address the changing realities of our times,” thus, it will present a measure that would allow either same sex or heterosexual couples to enjoy same benefits as legally married couples such as joint ownership of properties and adoption of children.

“The reality of our times is that there are heterosexuals who want to stay unmarried and will live together,” said Garcia.

Garcia, together with House Deputy Speaker and Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro and Quirino Rep. Dax Cua, said the House will also prioritize the proposed R10-billion supplemental budget to rebuild Marawi City, the 2018 national budget, Charter change, the simplified income tax bill, and the proposed postponement of the October 2017 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

Castro assured the public that all priority legislative proposals will undergo similar scrutiny as the other bills, adding that all concerned sectors will be consulted, especially the proposed civil union bill.