GENDER-neutral restrooms were installed in 15 airports of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) as a “step towards gender awareness development and protection of the rights of the LGBTQ+ community.”
The CAAP said that a gender-neutral restroom has also been built at its Pasay central office, according to its spokesman Eric Apolonio.
“The idea was first established during a CAAP gender sensitivity forum where several LGBTQ+ members shared concerns of feeling discriminated whenever they use the comfort rooms,” Apolonio said.
CAAP said the 15 airports with gender-neutral restrooms are in: Iloilo, Bacolod, Roxas, Laoag, Legazpi, Naga, Virac, Busuanga, Laguindingan, Dipolog, Butuan, San Jose in Occidental Mindoro, Basco, Marinduque, and Tandag in Surigao del Sur.
Aside from these communal restrooms, diaper-changing and breastfeeding rooms are also being maintained to assist nursing mothers better.
Apolonio said that the aviation regulator aimed to work further towards a more gender-inclusive environment in all of the 42 commercial airports it operates.
“In order to eradicate and minimize all forms of discrimination in all its areas and airports, the authority will continue to set its standards to accommodate the LGBTQ+community within and outside the agency,” Apolonio said.
The CAAP has appropriated P400 million for its Gender Awareness Development projects as authorized by Republic Act 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women and Executive Order 273, otherwise known as the Philippine Plan for Gender-Responsive Development.
CAAP said that safety in bathrooms was a pivotal concern for non-binary people today, and through the construction of the gender-neutral restrooms in CAAP-operated airports, the agency may proactively promote gender sensitivity at various points of its policies, programs, and activities. BENJAMIN VERGARA