Supposedly pro-equality, though also highlighting the lack of legal standing of LGBTQIA relationships.
As the Philippines – and the rest of the world, for that matter – enters the “new normal”, and supposedly as a means to help Filipinos who need various modes of transportation to go from point A to B, even LGBTQIA people in relationships are now allowed to “back-ride” in general community quarantine (GCQ) areas. The catch: They need to provide proof that they are couples or live-in partners.
This was announced by Joint Task Force COVID Shield commander Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar, who stated at the Laging Handa public briefing: “Binanggit ng National Task Force na ito ay para sa married couple and others na live-in partners. So in essence, kung ‘yung ating mga kasamahan sa LGBTQI ay magkasama sa isang bahay at sila naman ay live-in partners, kasama rin sila doon.“
He added: “Ang kailangan lamang po ay mga patunay na sila ay nakatira doon sa iisang lugar o iisang address ng iisang bahay para mapatunayan na sila ay magkasama.“
And so for couples with both people assigned males or both assigned females at birth, authorities “could consider” their IDs… preferably specifically stating that they live under the same roof.
“Sa ngayon, kung nagpatunay lang na meron silang ID doon, ayun po ay kino-consider natin,” Eleazar said.
Since not all co-habiting same-sex couples share the same address, an extra work is necessitated: “Kung makakakuha ng additional certification coming from the barangay, maganda din po ‘yan.”
Aside from highlighting the lack of legal recognition of LGBTQIA relationships in the Philippines, this attempt to allow back-riding is actually criticized – e.g. a barrier is still required between the driver and the back-rider (supposedly to “prevent COVID-19 infection in case some people may take advantage and pretend to be married couples or partners); and only couples are allowed to exclude other people who may actually be also living under the same roof (such as parents and their children).
“Tuloy-tuloy lang po ang pag-aaral ng ating TWG (Technical Working Group) ng IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) para ma-improve pa ang sistema na ito para sa kapakanan ng ating mga kababayan,” Eleazar said.