While Catholic Church leaders warn that same-sex marriage won’t come easy in conservative Philippines, one company is now acknowledging homosexual ties.
Global media firm Thomson Reuters’ site in Manila has introduced new rules allowing its employees’ live-in and even same-sex partners to avail of company benefits.
Under the company’s Domestic Partners Eligibility Policy, partners need not be legally married to Thomson Reuters employees to be dependents or beneficiaries.
They only need “documentation requirements to prove that they are in a committed relationship,” Thomson Reuter’s Communications Manager Marla Alvarez said in a phone interview.
Alvarez said the recognition of domestic partnerships outside of marriage is only a part of Thomson Reuters’ bid to “promote diversity and inclusion” in the workplace.
“We are a global company and we recognize that our employees and even our clients have different backgrounds, cultures, genders, religions and sensitivities,” she told Yahoo Southeast Asia.
She added that these may include joint bank accounts, proof of joint ownership of properties or barangay certifications that they live in the same residential unit.
Domestic Partners Eligibility is a global Thomson Reuters policy, Alvarez noted, adding that it was first rolled out in the United States, followed by the United Kingdom.
Alvarez said Manila is the first site in Asia where the policy was implemented starting only this August. It has also been rolled out in Bangalore, India.
The company’s new rules come as debates on the legalization of same-sex marriage, divorce and contraception continue to linger in Filipinos’ consciousness.
After the Reproductive Health Law, both Church and government leaders have recognized that discussions on divorce or same-sex marriage will be difficult.
Apart from the Domestic Partners Eligibility Policy, Thomson Reuters is also focusing on benefits for working mothers and supporting women in leadership roles.
The company is also keen on empowering people with disabilities. “We’re actively looking to hire people with disabilities,” Alvarez said.
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