Laoag gov’t employees told to respect LGBT rights

LAOAG CITY — City government employees here are enjoined to avoid using derogatory terms such as, “bakla”, “tomboy” or “transgender” to address persons of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

Addressing all department heads and employees of the Laoag government, City Administrator John Michael Fariñas issued memorandum no. 411 on Tuesday directing them to strictly practice and put it to heart a simple way of showing respect to members of the LGBT.

“If the person’s gender preference is a ‘he’ or ‘she’, the person should be called and treated in the proper way,” said the city administrator.

For example, the Fariñas memo stated, “if the person is born a ‘he’ and the gender predilection of such is a ‘she’, said person should be considered a ‘she’ and shall be addressed accordingly.”

The city administrator underscored that any employee who will violate the directive shall be charged administratively of conduct unbecoming, disrespect and insubordination.

Said memo is in light of the imminent enactment of the anti-discrimination bill or House Bill Number 4982 sponsored by women and gender equality committee chairperson Emmeline Aglipay-Villar which aims to protect the rights and giving equal opportunities to members of the LGBT community.

HB 4982 seeks to provide equal opportunities for the LGBT community and is not meant to legalize same-sex marriage in the country. LGA/