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ROUGH CUTS | Make it a government policy




LATE last week we heard it on television the owner of the Samal resort Isla Reta saying his firm will sue the transgender who complained publicly through the media that he/she was discriminated against by the management of the establishment.

According to the transgender he/she was ordered out of the women’s comfort room when he/she wanted to use it for washing him/herself.

Well, it is not that we want to side with the resort management. However, there is clearly some issues in determining the truth as to the real sex of a person entering women’s comfort room.

Definitely when a woman enters a man’s lavatory, even if she is wearing a man’s outfit, she is still a woman. And only a woman who has some problem with her mind will ever do that.

However, when a transgender get inside a woman’s comfort room, there will immediately be some doubts as to his/her motive. He is still a male individual and it would be too cumbersome if the management of any establishment demands that a person claiming to be a transgender will have to show proof/s that he is.

What if the transgender is only faking his personality to get the opportunity of satisfying his voyeurism desire?
Thus, we cannot really blame if management will establish some guidelines for the use of its firm’s facilities intended for women only.

But since the existence of the so-called “third sex” is now an accepted global phenomenon, it should be the responsibility of governments to make it a matter of policy that there will not exist any opportunity that the so-called “third sex” or those who prefer to change their sexual orientation be discriminated against.

Meaning, at the national level there should be a law enacted by Congress that transgenders and other members of the LGBT groups be provided their own facilities in establishments where there is likely a mix of people using comfort rooms at any given time. And to make this national mandate work according to its intentions, the local government units will have to introduce enabling ordinances.

We believe that without this mandate the management of any establishment catering to the public cannot be forced to put up facilities to respond to the needs of some people whose real sexual orientation cannot be determined by their action or mannerism alone. But with a national and local policy in place, with some provisions for penalties if violated, then the problem of discrimination will eventually be solved.


The flooding in various areas of Davao City, both in the urban center and in the peripheries last week-end at the height of storm “Crising” once again brought into the open men’s excesses in the past and the government’s failure to come up with serious and effective regulations. It also exposed how our lack of discipline has aggravated the situation of having clogged up drainage canals and pipes.

Why ado our creeks and rivers easily overflow? Any observant resident can see how fast the volume of water coming from the upstream inundates the city’s plains and into the low-lying streets and areas especially at the downtown portion.

This is because our mountains are already bald after loggers, both legal and illegal, wantonly cut every standing tree thereat. And closely following them in vanishing what remains green standing were the upland settlers and native residents who readily slashed and burned the logged over areas for highland farming purposes.

Then, on the river banks of the different rivers and creeks of the city run amok the sand, gravel and boulder quarry exploiters. They scoop the river materials to supply construction projects both public and private.

Then we have the residential subdivision developers who are now invading what used to be coconut and rubber farms thereby cutting off huge number of palm and tree trunks that could have helped in preventing the soil erosion down the rivers. What used to be hundreds of hectares of soil from the surface down under, are now cement house floorings and subdivision roads.

And we have many of our residents in these subdivisions and all other residential enclaves in the city throwing their garbage in open canals and in busted portions of the underground drainage system. The refuse contains almost all kinds of household waste notably plastics and other non-biodegradable materials.

So, what happened during the last stormy and rainy week-end? Flood immersed every low-lying area of the city as well as in areas where drainage canals and pipes are blocked with every kind of garbage from the households and from some irresponsible individuals and establishments that sees every vacant space and canal as receptacle for their waste.

Yes, today we are complaining of the outcome of the omissions of those who came to Davao ahead of us and of our lack of discipline. And above all, we are now suffering from the inability of our government leaders to come up and enforce effective regulations that would suit our own desired plan for the city.
Yet, many will argue that this changing landscape of the city is in the name of development. Really?

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