11 PH airports to have LGBT, PWD restrooms

By Jacque Manabat, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 07 2015 05:07 PM | Updated as of Jul 08 2015 08:36 PM

Graphic design of communal toilet (By Caap GAD)

MANILA - Eleven out of 41 provincial commercial airports in the country will have communal comfort rooms this year, plus one at the main office of Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

With a ground area of 49.50 sq.m, the communal comfort room will be divided into four to cater to males, females, persons with disabilities, and a communal toilet.

This is part of CAAP's 'Gender Awareness Program (GAP)."

"Communal Toilets or all gender restroom means that anyone can use this restroom regardless of gender identity or expression," CAAP said in an earlier statement.

The toilets for the members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) group can serve one person at a time with one urinal and a lavatory.

The comfort room will be painted with neutral colors of cream and maroon, and will be constructed outside the terminal building.

The planned facilities will be built at the airports of Butuan, Legaspi, Dipolog, Calbayog, Pagadian, Tuguegarao, Cauayan, Busuanga, Puerto Princesa, Masbate, and Naga.

CAAP said they have conceptualized the plan months ago before the US legalized same-sex marriage.

The idea came up during a gender sensitivity forum when some LGBT members raised concerns that they feel discriminated whenever they enter the comfort room, according to CAAP.

The budget for the project will come from the appropriated 5 percent or P400 million cut allotted for Gender and Development department projects of CAAP.

Each comfort room building will be bidded out at P1.8 million, or about P19.8 million for the construction of 11 comfort rooms.

The comfort rooms are targeted to be completed before the end of the year. Next year, CAAP plans to put up more of these buildings in other airports.

CAAP said aside from the communal comfort rooms, they have other projects in the pipeline such as the breastfeeding station, diaper changing area, and children's playing area.