Gretchen Diez (right) was turned over to Police Station 7 of the Quezon City Police District after she was barred from entering a ladies’s room in a mall. (Photo from the QCPD Public Information Office)
MANILA, Philippines — The management of a Quezon City mall, where a transgender woman was arrested after being barred from using a ladies’ room, probably has not oriented its employees about the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros said this as she was being interpellated by Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III after delivering her privilege speech during Wednesday’s Senate session.
“There seems to be a big omission in orienting employees working in that mall. Look, we already have an anti-discrimination ordinance,” Hontiveros, speaking in Filipino, said, referring to the Gender Fair Ordinance of Quezon City.
On Tuesday, 28-year-old Gretchen Diez was barred from entering a ladies’ room in Farmers Plaza. Diez took a live video of the incident, prompting a female cleaning crew member, Chayra Ganal, to call a security guard to apprehended Diez.
READ: Transgender woman in women’s comfort room causes stir in QC mall
“Employees of all establishments of the city should be oriented about the law. And it should be institutionalized and internalized by all workers as part of their customer relations,” Hontiveros said.
In her speech, Hontiveros also called for the urgent passage of a bill that would criminalize discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, also known as the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression (SOGIE) Equality.
Following the incident, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte ordered businesses to strictly comply with the Gender Fair Ordinance.
“I have ordered the Business Permit and Licensing Department (BPLD) to make sure that all business establishments will follow the Gender Fair Ordinance as soon as possible,” Belmonte said in a statement in Filipino.
READ: Belmonte orders QC businesses to comply with Gender Fair Ordinance
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