SENATOR Risa Hontiveros urged owners of business establishments in the country to provide gender-neutral comfort rooms (CRs) in order to avoid security risks among members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
This came after transwoman Gretchen Custodio Diez was barred by a janitress from using the women's comfort room at a mall in Quezon City, which prompted LGBT members and allies to further push for the recognition of their rights.
Hontiveros said business establishments, especially malls, should provide a facility that will cater to all genders by installing both urinals and toilets that are enclosed in cubicles to ensure the privacy of users.
“Simpleng adjustment sana sa infrastructure or facilities. Hindi naman malaking gastos na gawing gender-neutral ang mga banyo. Ang kagustuhan lang naman natin ay magawa ng bawat isa ang dapat gawin sa banyo na walang pakialamanan at may maayos na pagtrato sa bawat isa,” she said during her recent visit in this town.
Aside from the tangible adjustment, commercial establishment owners must also educate and train their workers on the proper treatment of customers, whatever gender identification or orientation they may prefer.
As an LGBT ally, the senator stressed that all human beings must experience equality and receive the respect due to everybody, especially on the most little things such as using bathroom of their choice.
“Isa sa mga paraan para maiwasan ang nangyari kay Ms. Gretchen ay magkaroon ng tamang information and education ang mga empleyado natin. Mas mabuti kung dumaan sila sa gender sensitivity orientation and seminar para mas maging sensitibo sila,” she said.