In time for the return of face-to-face classes, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM), a state-funded educational institution in the City of Manila, adopted a policy that gives its students the freedom to choose uniforms based on their gender identities and/or expressions.
In 2022, PLM actually became the first university to have a gender-neutral uniform policy after adopting an administrative order allowing students to wear their preferred uniform. Administrative Order 21-ACA was issued on October 226, 2022, and took effect on November 16.
Under the administrative order, enrollees can choose to wear either of the following clothing for the top:
- A plain white polo with the PLM patch
- A white blouse with a tie
They can then pair these with either a pair of blue-gray pants or a skirt.
All students are, nonetheless, required to wear closed, black shoes.
Uniforms are to be worn inside PLM from Mondays to Thursdays; but on Fridays, called “free days”, students may wear casual clothing.
Students with medical conditions and are unable to comply with the required uniform, as well as those whose religious beliefs or cultural traditions prevent them from wearing the PLM uniform are exempt from the rules after they coordinate with the Office of Student Development and Services.
After the release of the administrative order, the school conducted a survey among its students about the dress code. Though the students voted to keep the uniforms, about four out of 10 urged a “gender-free” uniform policy. And for PLM president Emmanuel Leyco, “It was significant enough. Why ignore that? Payagan natin na mamili sila,” he was quoted as saying by GMA News Online.
PLM also has gender-neutral restrooms.