AFTER the controversial male and female urinals, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is now considering designing new urinals for the handicapped, an official of the agency said Monday.

MMDA General Manager Robert Nacianceno said that if ever the agency will come up with such urinals, it will have a different design to accommodate the needs of the disabled.

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“We are willing to listen to calls for special urinals for the handicapped. We are thinking of them, who may ask for a different urinal because of their different needs,” Nacianceno added.

Calls to put up a facility for the handicapped came after a party-list group accredited by the Commission on Election (Comelec) to participate in the May 10 elections proposed the putting up of “gay toilets” in government offices and commercial establishments.

Alyansa ng Media at Showbiz Inc. nominee Leo Martinez, a veteran actor, said such exclusive comfort rooms would protect homosexuals from discrimination.

Under the proposed system, a “gay male" and “gay female" would be constructed in government offices and in commercial establishments like malls and cinemas.

MMDA Chairman Oscar Inocentes said they are also open to calls by members of the “third sex” to set up another urinal for them separate from the existing facility.

He further said the agency will also take a look at urinals for the disabled.

The MMDA will open four female urinals this week along Epifanio De Los Santos Avenue (EDSA), the metropolis prime thoroughfare.

Inocentes said the four urinals are just the initial part of the program, adding that the agency still welcomes suggestions from the public, especially women’s group if there is a need for more of the facility.

Safety concerns, particularly against robbers, muggers and even rapists, prompted the MMDA to design the female urinals fully covered and with only one cubicle.

Initially, the design of the urinal was for two persons but the agency revised it for the safety of the users, especially at night.

The facilities will have electricity and water and will be free to the public.

Each women’s urinal costs between P15,000 and P20,000.

In contrast, there are more than 500 MMDA men’s urinals in Metro Manila put up during the term of former MMDA chairman Bayani Fernando. (AH/Sunnex)