Caloocan prohibits wearing of short shorts in public

MANILA, Philippines – After news broke out that Caloocan City is prohibiting people from wearing short shorts in public, a lot of netizens are angrily lashing out at the city officials for the archaic law. Some netizens believe the city officials are just being prudish while others are angry because they believe this is promoting the culture of ‘victim-blaming’.
Caloocan prohibits wearing of short shorts in public

What many did not know is that the ban had actually been made into a city ordinance as far back as 2007; though it seems that it had not been fully implemented until recently when local officials tried to impose the law.

Caloocan prohibits wearing of short shorts in public

Known as the Caloocan City Dress Code in Public Places, City Ordinance No. 0439, was actually enacted on November 6, 2007. Under the ordinance, a proper dress code was laid out for residents to follow. The guidelines provided a list of ‘appropriate and acceptable’ clothing.

“Persons must be properly and decently attired while moving about in public places within the city,” the ordinance stated.

Caloocan prohibits wearing of short shorts in public

The ordinance prohibits residents from wearing short shorts in public. But the ban is not just for the short shorts but also for people going shirtless in public, a practice that is quite common among many Filipino men.

Under this law, those who caught violating the ordinance get a warning on the first offense, a fine of Php500 on the second offense, and a fine of Php1,000 for the third offense plus imprisonment of 2 days.

If the individual can’t pay the fine, he/she has the option to help sweep the streets of their barangay for two to four days.

Caloocan prohibits wearing of short shorts in public

A lot of netizens, including women’s rights group Gabriela slammed the law for victim-blaming, claiming that enforcement of this law enforces the myth that skimpy clothing could lead to the woman getting abused.

As netizens criticized the ordinance, Caloocan police chief Senior Supt. Restituto Arcangel clarified that the ban was only meant for market vendors who were prohibited from wearing sleeveless tops, ‘dirty or tattered clothes’ and slippers in public.

Data from the Northern Police District showed that they are focusing more on apprehending those who are not wearing upper clothes rather than those wearing short shorts, with 289 people cited for going shirtless.

Though the ordinance was met with anger, there are actually a number of netizens who also agree with its implementation.

“Mas maganda po talaga parang gaya noong panahon noong araw na mahaba mga short at damit,” resident Joni Abucayo said.

Coconut vendor Willie Gaspar also agrees, saying men look more decent when they wear shirts instead of sando or undershirt or going shirtless.

— Joy Adalia, The Summit Express

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