MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has gone viral for all the wrong reasons.
Netizens cried foul over a social media post of the DOTr relaying its traffic advisory on Monday, December 9, as the Miss Universe 2019 coronation was being held in Atlanta, Georgia where South Africa's Zozibini Tunzi won the highly coveted crown.
The post stereotyped gays as salon workers and made reference to them as “Baklooh.”
“BREAKING NEWS! NBA championship ng mga Baklooh, umaarangkada na. Traffic sa pangunahing lansangan, maluwag! Mga parlor, siguradong sarado!”
(BREAKING NEWS! The NBA championship of the gays is happening now. Traffic in major thoroughfare is light! Salons are surely closed!)
The DOTr has since taken down the related Twitter and Facebook posts .
While most Filipino pageant fans haven't recovered yet over Gazini Ganados' defeat, some hit the DOTr over the post with a common sentiment being: it was "distasteful" and "unprofessional."
This is very unprofessional. Please delete this. — Justin Mondragon (@jjcdizon) December 9, 2019
Distasteful, disrespectful, shameful. This not a "matter of public safety"-- only a matter of POWER ABUSE wherein an official government account makes fun of those outside the hetero-norm. Nakakaiyak at nakakapanghina isiping ganito ang mga taong nasa posisyon ng kapangyarihan. https://t.co/RYoAcx5yWT — Ash Presto (@sosyolohija) December 9, 2019
Meanwhile, for Twitter user Ralph, DOTr should focus on improving the transportation system in the country instead.
DELETE THIS,,,, INSTEAD OF IMPROVING MASS TRANSPO, U R POSTING THIS SHIT TO COVER UP THE TRANSPO CRISIS https://t.co/jTukB8mALs — ralph (@rxlphmichael) December 9, 2019
Here's what others had to say about DOTr's "shameful" post:
DOTr Miss Universe tweet - Curated tweets by rapplerdotcom
In a statement sent to Rappler, Goddes Libiran, DOTr assistant secretary for communications, said there was nothing wrong with their post.
"We are just trying to draw humor. We do that every year everytime there's a pageant," she added.
Libiran also sent a screenshot of those who reacted to their post to say that only 7 people were angered by it out of the 1,400 reactions it has gotten.
Meanwhile, some netizens came to the defense of the DOTr.
This was not the first time that DOTr came under fire over its social media posts. In March 2018, the government agency was in hot water following a post about people protesting the jeepney modernization program, which compared the way the previous and current administrations dealt with those opposing it. (READ: Meme page? Netizens hit DOTr's Facebook post vs jeepney strike)
What are your thoughts about the way the DOTr is handling its official social media pages? – Rappler.com