ICYMI, yesterday, Aug. 4, Barangay Old Balara in Quezon City posted an order allowing only women to get quarantine passes. “Ang bawat pamilya ay muling bibigyan ng QPass (quarantine pass) na siyang gagamitin para lumabas ng bahay upang bumili ng pagkain at gamot. Mga ilaw ng tahanan (nanay) lamang ang bibigyan ng QPass,” read the barangay order, which can still be seen on the barangay’s Facebook page. This immediately caught people’s attention, with many pointing out that the order was discriminatory and made under false logic.
Hours after posting, the local government unit posted an amendment that’s highkey still not great. Aside from just women, quarantine passes will now also be given to “mga ama ng tahanan, lgbt at mga solo parent (sic).” I’d like to think that making a distinction for fathers and solo parents allows for genderqueer parents, but that’d probably be giving the barangay more credit than it’s due.
Among the first to criticize the barangay ordinance was artist Nikki Luna. In a text exchange with Preen.ph, she said:
“The new ordinance places women again in their never-ending battle of having to deal with ‘multiple burdens.’ This ordinance reinforces stereotypical gender roles, making women carry all the load/burden from housework, children, attending to the mental, physical and emotional needs of their partners/husbands and children (plus their own work/time, community work, etc.) Women are once again reduced to the ‘role’ given by our patriarchal society. This government/administration needs to attend a gender-fair, non-sexist training as well as relearn Women’s Human Rights. And it’s best to teach men/boys to focus on domestic obligations within and outside the home. Passing on the labor to women perpetuates gender inequality/inequity.” (edited for clarity)
Aside from that, many people also noted that adding a gender-based restriction on receiving quarantine passes was discriminatory and largely impractical. What about homes without women? What if you’re a man living alone? The added guidelines don’t quite address that—if you’re not a parent nor queer, but, again, you’re male and live alone or with other males, how would you get a quarantine pass?
There’s also the problem with the addition of sexuality and gender identity into the mix. The order now allows for people who are part of the LGBT+ community to receive passes, but how will people prove that? It’s just as discriminatory to say that a person’s queerness is noticeable or obvious (unless, you know, you’re queer and you’re saying it as a joke).
In the end, the ordinance is giving us more questions than answers, which is far from what we need during this time of instability. Now that Metro Manila is under MECQ again, people need these passes to live, y’know?