In Barangay Old Balara in Quezon City, only women are allowed to get quarantine passes to procure essentials outside their homes as Metro Manila and surrounding provinces shift to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).
This was formalized into policy through its Barangay Order No. 4-2020, signed by its barangay captain Allan Franza.
"Ang bawat pamilya ay muling bibigyan ng QPass (quarantine pass) na siyang gagamitin para lumabas ng bahay upang bumili ng pagkain at gamot. Mga ilaw ng tahanan (nanay) lamang ang bibigyan ng QPass," the order reads.
This is the first reported case where a barangay has resorted to a gender-based enforcement of quarantine guidelines to further limit residents who can leave their homes.
Under the rules set by the national government's Inter-Agency Task Force against the coronavirus, quarantine passes are given to "one person per household." No gender or role in the family has been specified.
This has caused residents to complain to the barangay for the policy on their Facebook page, explaining men in their households did the grocery shopping.
One resident, in a message to Rappler, recounted a barangay official going rounds telling them the rationale behind the provision: that women are more responsible than men.
"Pag lalaki daw gagala lang. Babae daw kasi ang namamalengke. Grabe yung gender discrimination (He said men will just roam around. He said women are the ones who do the groceries. The gender discrimination is concerning)," he said.
Rappler has sought the comment of the barangay through its official Facebook page, but it has yet to reply as of posting. – Rappler.com
Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.