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Philippines: President Signs Executive Order on Diversity and Inclusion Program in Government Entities

(Dec. 31, 2019) On December 19, 2019, the Philippines’ government announced that President Rodrigo Duterte had signed an Executive Order providing for the creation of a Diversity and Inclusion Program (DIP) aimed at consolidating and implementing current laws, rules, and issuances against the discrimination of individuals in government entities.

Specifically, the DIP will provide for a number of anti-discrimination guidelines and procedures, including the following:

  • A framework for agencies to identify and eliminate all barriers to equal opportunities in education and the recruitment, hiring, training, promotion, and retention of personnel.
  • Programs to ensure that all personnel are properly equipped with the ability to manage diversity, including the provision of robust orientation processes and relevant trainings.
  • Mechanisms for accountability in departments, bureaus, offices, agencies, state universities and colleges, government-owned or controlled corporations, and local government units.
  • A process for seeking redress for discrimination-related complaints.

The Executive order also provides for the creation of an Inter-Agency Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (ICDI) tasked with developing the DIP in consultation with a number of stakeholders, including the Commission on Human Rights, Civil Service Commission and nongovernment organizations. 

The ICDI will be empowered to provide technical assistance and guidance to government entities in the implementation of the DIP in their respective domains.

In addition, the ICDI will launch information campaigns promoting the effective execution of the DIP and will encourage local government units to enact ordinances aimed at fostering inclusion and diversity in their jurisdictions.

The Inter-Agency Committee will be presided over by the Interior Secretary and is to be comprised of representatives from a number of executive departments, including Social Welfare, Budget and Management, Labor and Employment, and Justice and Health, as well as from the Philippine Commission on Women, Commission on Higher Education, and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples.