About the Event
As part of Pride Month observances, the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) and the Philippines LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce (PLCC) invite you to a virtual forum addressing important issues impacting LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs and professionals today. Public and private sector leaders will examine economic, workplace, social, health matters, and other key topics. Featured speakers include the Honorable Trina Firmalo-Fabic, Mayor of Odiongan, Romblon and Home Credit Philippines Chief People Officer Alpha Omega Aquino, as well as Youth Voices Count Executive Director Justin Francis Bionat and PLCC Chairperson Ronn Astillas.
CIPE and PLCC will also debut a new tool to track and analyze policies and measures intended to support inclusion: the Philippine Governance SOGIE (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression) Diversity and Inclusiveness Index (GSDI). The pioneering assessment framework is expected to become a valuable resource for advocacy efforts and decisions about workplace practices involving LGBTQIA+ individuals and businesses. The June 28 event is part of the ongoing Manila Webinar Series on Inclusion, Diversity, and Equality.
About the panelists
Hon. Trina Firmalo-Fabic
Hon. Trina Firmalo-Fabic is the current mayor of the Municipality of Odiongan, Romblon and founder of Sulong Kabataang Romblomanon, an organization focused on youth empowerment and development. Mayor Fabic is an advocate for women, youth, LGBT+, and persons with disabilities and has led various programs and projects aimed at the rights of these marginalized groups. Mayor Fabic finisher her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Affairs, majoring in International Development from Princeton University.
Ronn Astillas has more than 15 years of experience in international trade relations and public policy development. He obtained his master’s degree in International Political Economy from the University of Manchester (UK) as a British Chevening scholar, and currently serves as a consultant for multi-sectoral organizations/ entities and provides advice on public policy, stakeholder engagement, and external economic relations. As a former Philippine lead trade negotiator in ASEAN services sector, he supported the promotion of competitive and innovative industries to deepen the country’s engagement in regional cooperation and integration. His involvement in international trade included economic negotiations through the ambit of various ASEAN free trade agreements. He served as the inaugural Philippine lead services negotiator for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). As an advocate for greater diversity, inclusion, and equality, Ronn provides guidance and vision on businesses as the current chair of the Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce, a non-stock, non-profit industry organization of businesses of, by, and for Philippine LGBT. He also considers himself an ally of sustainable farming and urges communities to support locally made and grown products and food.
Alpha Omega Aquino
Alpha Omega Aquino is a seasoned executive that held several key leadership roles in managing operations in the Business Process Outsourcing/Contact Center industry. As the Chief People Officer of Home Credit Philippines, Alpha believes that people strategy is an important consideration in driving operations excellence and that for organizations to succeed, they must have an impactful and relevant purpose, especially during uncertain times. As the first Filipina who received a certification from Society for Human Resource Management, Alpha is a foremost expert, convener, and thought leader on issues impacting today’s evolving workplaces in the country.
Justin Francio Bionat
Justin Francio Bionat is the executive director of Youth Voices Count (YVC), a regional network for young people in the Asia-Pacific region. YVC works on several intersectional issues including LGBTIQ rights, Sexual and Human Reproductive Rights (SHRH), youth empowerment, digital rights, and comprehensive sexuality education. Justin has over 5 years of experience working in local and national human rights advocacy in the Philippines. Justin holds a Master of Arts in Human Rights and Democratization from Mahidol University in Thailand and his thesis utilized queer theory to discuss the access to sexual health care of gay, bisexual and MSM identities in Cambodia. He is an advocate for health human rights for sexual and gender minorities, especially LGBTIQ persons, in all aspects of his work.
Ryan Evangelista is overseeing programming activities of the CIPE regional office in the Philippines, focused on improving democratic governance and supporting market-oriented reform, fostering diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), women economic empowerment, responsible and ethical investments, digital economy, strengthening business associations, think tanks and civil society organizations, and enabling stakeholder participation in policy advocacy. With 23 years’ experience in private sector and development practice, he previously served as investment policy reform adviser of IFC-World Bank, investment promotions and business enabling environment expert of USAID-SURGE Project, and institutional benchmarking expert at International Trade Centre (ITC). He also served as executive director of the Australian-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce/ Philippines, Economic Growth Specialist at USAID/Philippines, deputy secretary general of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and executive director of PCCI’s trade policy think tank. He is a lecturer at the SME and Trade Academy in Geneva, Switzerland, and faculty member teaching stakeholder analysis and governance best practices at the joint ISA-University of Asia and Pacific (UA&P) Governance and Leadership Executive Program. In 2013, he was honored by Development Executives (Devex) as one of Manila’s 40 most influential international development leaders under the age of 40. He earned his Master of Arts in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy-Tufts University, in Medford, Massachusetts, USA, and, undergraduate in Business Economics at De La Salle University-Dasmarinas.
Angel Romero is the current director for partnerships and external affairs of PLCC and Partner and Director for Creative and Marketing at Kapuwa Bistro + Urban Pub. She is a human rights activist with special interests on Women and LGBTQIA rights and the founder of the first OUT safe spaces in the Philippines. She is also a writer who enjoys scotch, art, and anything vintage.
Lini Zurlia is an Indonesian queer feminist activist and is the current advocacy officer of ASEAN SOGIE Caucus. She has been involved with issues of women and sexuality, democracy, and human rights in Indonesia for many years. Graduated from Jakarta Islamic University.
She was an advocacy coordinator for Arus Pelangi (Indonesian LGBTI Federation) and now she is serving us as an advocacy officer. Aside from her daily responsibility work with us, she is also a member of Arus Pelangi Board of Advisory until 2022, member of PurpleCode Collective and the co-founder and festival director of 16Film Festival.
About the Organization
The Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce is an industry organization of businesses of, by, and for Philippine LGBT. The thrust of the organization is business excellence and national economic development via the efforts of its LGBT members and allies. The Chamber’s three-point mission include: 1) Promote SOGIE Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace; 2) Champion LGBT+ leadership in business, across industries; and, 3) Recognize organization role models of SOGIE Diversity and Inclusion.