In a move to uphold the rights and human dignity of members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, Laoag City’s Office of the City Administrator released a memorandum directing all of the city’s heads of offices and employees not to use derogatory words to address, call and describe LGBT co-employees.
The memorandum, released by Laoag City Administrator John Michael Fariñas, is said to be in line with the city government’s support to the LGBT community and the push for the enactment of the anti-discrimination bill into law. It specifically directs all heads and employees to practice and put to heart a simple way of showing respect by not using the terms “bakla“, “tomboy” or “transgender” to address and/or describe persons of the LGBT community to “practice and maintain respectful attitude or behavior towards everyone regardless of gender.”
The memorandum also stated that if a person prefers to use a specific pronoun (i.e. “he” or “she”), then the person should be called and treated accordingly.
Employees who are found violating the directive will be charged administratively for conduct unbecoming, disrespect, and insubordination.
The memorandum took effect on July 11.
Laoag, a third class city, is the capital of the province of Ilocos Norte. In 2015, its population totaled 111,125, making it the largest city in the province.