Philippine Ports Authority to set up 'all gender' restrooms in seaport terminals

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) will be setting up "all gender" restrooms in its seaport terminals and offices nationwide in order to promote gender sensitivity and inclusivity.

These facilities will be completed and usable by the end of August.

In a statement on Tuesday, August 20, PPA General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago said that this initiative has been under study for months, in a bid to come up with the best and most practical solution to ensure equality among all genders.

According to Santiago, the gender-neutral restrooms will be incorporated into the existing facilities dedicated to persons with disabilities (PWDs). He explained that while these facilities may be used by anyone regardless of gender, PWDs will still have priority in using the restrooms.

Santiago emphasized their goal of developing an environment of sensitivity and inclusivity for personnel and port users.

"PPA recognizes the needs of all our port users and the agency will continue to adopt policies in order to bring comfort to the lives of the sea-going public regardless of gender preference or expression," Santiago said.

Earlier Tuesday, Malacañang said President Rodrigo Duterte is inclined to support "3rd restrooms" for the LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer) community.

However, Gretchen Diez, the trans woman who was barred from using a women's restroom in a mall, believes "3rd restrooms" would not help their fight against discrimination, but could even increase discrimination against members of the LGBTQ+. – with reports from Loreben Tuquero/Rappler.com