Gender-neutral toilets to be built in LPU Manila

Kc Co
Gender-neutral toilets to be built in LPU Manila
For advocates, installing gender-neutral toilets in the Lyceum of the Philippines University is a step towards protecting the rights of the LGBT community in the campus

MANILA, Philippines – The Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) – Manila approved the school’s first gender-neutral toilets on Tuesday, March 14.

A gender-neutral restroom is a public toilet that all people, regardless of gender identity or expression, can use. Two (2) gender-neutral toilets will be installed in the university premises.

“(It’s) one big step (towards) a more open-minded and a more embracive LPU,” LPU Kasarian’s founding president Dencio Pedere Arcadio said in a Facebook post. LPU Kasarian, a student organization that promotes gender equality within the campus, led the advocacy.

Arcadio told Rappler that his organization “believes that having a gender-neutral restroom is one way to achieve our goal – that is, gender equality – as well as to eradicate or minimize discrimination and bullying.”

The Facebook post generated more than 700 likes and over 200 shares to date. Many Facebook users hailed the project of the gender and LGBT equality organization.

In September 2016, Ateneo de Davao University also installed its own gender-neutral restroom to “increase understanding and respect for the human needs and sensitivities of all.”

The Inquirer earlier reported that gender-neutral restrooms will be built in 41 commercial airports across the country to cater to the LGBT community. The plan is part of the gender awareness development program of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP). 

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Equal opportunities for LGBT 

The project seeks to comply with a Commission on Higher Education’s (CHED) order on setting “the minimum standards to promote gender-sensitive and rights-based policies, curricula, instructional materials” in all colleges and universities.

Public discussion on the rights of the LGBT community has recently gained momentum as the House of Representatives kicks off its debate on House Bill (HB) Number 4982 or the Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity or Expression (SOGIE) Equality Act.

The proposed policy which aims to provide equal opportunities for the LGBT community is championed by Bataan 1st District Representative Geraldine Roman, Dinagat Islands Representative Kaka Bag-ao, and DIWA representative Emmeline Aglipay-Villar.

According to Roman, the first transgender woman to be elected to the House of Representatives, existing laws in the country do not fully protect members of the Filipino LGBT community.  (WATCH: Rappler Talk: Geraldine Roman on fighting discrimination) – Rappler.com

KC Co is a Rappler intern. She is a graduating Communication student from Emilio Aguinaldo College – Cavite

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