A state-funded school in Manila has adopted a policy that gives students the freedom to choose uniforms based on their gender identities and expressions.
Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) announced on Friday, November 18 that it has adopted an administrative order that grants this freedom to its LGBTQIA+ students.
Administrative Order No. 21-ACA was issued on October 26 and took effect on November 16.
The PLM posted this news on its Facebook page.
“The Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) has officially adopted an administrative order removing sex-based guidelines on school uniforms, a move welcomed by members and allies of the LGBTQIA+ community in the university,” the university said.
“PLM is the first public university to adopt this gender-neutral uniform policy,” it further said.
The institution also attached photos of PLM President Emmanuel Leyco when he welcomed student leaders of PLM Propaganda, a youth group of LGBTQIA+ members inside the school.
In the post, Leyco acknowledged this change in the uniform rule as “simple yet meaningful”.
“This is a simple yet meaningful gesture to demonstrate that PLM is a safe space for academic freedom and gender expression,” he said.
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 them with either a pair of blue-gray pants or a skirt.
The only prescription applicable to all students is closed, black shoes.
Uniforms are to be worn inside the PLM from Mondays to Thursdays.
Fridays, meanwhile, are declared “free days” for casual wear among PLM students.
There are some students who are exempted from this order.
“Students living 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 such rules upon coordination with the Office of Student Development and Services,” PLM said.
This development came after calls for inclusivity in schools were made on social media in the past months.
Cases of transwomen initially being excluded from graduation ceremonies, and policies on haircuts and uniforms were heavily criticized online.
These incidents prompted the Department of Education-National Capital Region to release a memo that affirmed its gender-responsive policy in 2017.
Under this policy, education department officials are to provide an environment that has “zero-tolerance for all forms of discrimination, violence and abuse.”