Madalas problema ng mga straight at transgenders ang sabay na paggamit ng public restrooms. Minsang pumasok si Dana, isang transgender, sa restroom nila sa opisina, nainsulto siya nang nagmadaling lumabas si John nang makita siya. Ang hindi niya alam, akala naman nang nalitong si John, nasa Female restroom siya dahil may pumasok na babae sa loob kaya’t nahiya siya at biglaang umalis.
But the good news is, malapit nang masolusyunan ito sa Quezon City. Pinasa na sa kanilang lungsod ang isang ordinance na naglalayong i-promote ang mga karapatan ng mga Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgenders (LGBT). This is the first ordinance in the country which focuses on discrimination based on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression (SOGIE).
Kasama sa ordinance ang both prohibitive and affirmative acts that aim to promote Quezon City as a gender-fair city. Ayon kay QC Councilor Lena Marie Juico, nararapat lang na siguruhin ng lungsod “that the human rights of all people – be they heterosexual or lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) – including those related to sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or what we call SOGIE, be respected, protected and promoted” in Quezon City..
According to research, maraming LGBTs ang nakakaranas ng discrimination sa lipunan. Bagamat sinasabi ng mga pag-aaral na ang Pilipinas ay isa sa mga pinaka-“Gay-Friendly” nations in the world, lumalabas pa rin sa studies na nakakaranas pa rin ng hatred, violence, at intolerance ang mga LGBTs on a daily basis sa Pilipinas.
Ilan sa mga prohibitive acts ng sinusulong na ordinansa ay ang mga sumusunod:
- Discrimination in Employment and Education– refusal or delaying a person’s admission as a student, employee, or organization member, denying benefits, harassment, and unjust expulsion or dismissal just because of a person’s gender
- Discrimination in the Delivery of Goods or Services – refusing to provide goods and/or services to a person, denying access to health services and facilities, refusing accomodation in hotels, apartments and any other places of dwelling, denying an application for a license or any other document issued by governmental or private entities dahil lang sa kanilang kasarian
- Harassment and Ridicule – making fun of a person whether in writing, or in words, or in action, pagsabi ng slanderous and abusive statements because of his/her gender which could intimidate or result in loss of self-esteem of the person, and promotion of these acts
Although, unlike other ordinances, this ordinance also contains affirmative acts, hindi lang puro bawal. There are actions that are being encouraged by the government.
Ilan sa mga affirmative acts sa ordinance are the following:
- Wage and work benefits for LGBT Persons– pagtatakda ng minimum wage at pag-grant ng benefits such as maternity/paternity leaves, sick and vacation leaves, retirement, at iba pa, pagtatakda ng Gender Sensitivity Training sa mga employees, pagpapakalat ng ordinance na ito sa mga opisina para sa kaalaman ng lahat
- Public Facilities– All public and private establishments are encouraged to set up unisex lavatories labelled as “All Gender” for LGBTs
- Affirmative acts in education, delivery of goods and services, and accomodation– kabilang na rin dito ang availability of anti-discrimination materials for schools and offices
- Health services for LGBTs, especially on reproductive health
- Incorporation of LGBT help desks in existing barangay Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) Desks
- Commemoration of LGBT events–
– International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) on May 17
– Philippine Pride March on the First Saturday of December
– World Aids Day on December 1
– Human Rights Day on December 10
It’s important to note na hindi lang para sa mga LGBTs ang ordinance na ito. Even heterosexuals may avail of the benefits of this ordinance if one is discriminated based their perceived gender and/or paraan ng pag-express ng kanilang kasarian.
While the ordinance in itself has been passed, according to Councilor Juico, fina-finalize pa ang IRR or Implementing Rules and Regulations. Once the IRR has been finalized, ready to go na talaga ang mga nakasaad sa ordinance na ito.
With this new ordinance, Quezon City hopes to be a model for other municipalities so that they can also promote an all-inclusive and gender-fair community sa kanilang mga lugar.