After drawing flak from the netizens for allegedly discriminating a member of the LGBTQ++ community, Jollibee Food Corporation (JFC) has issued a public apology to Bunny Cadag, a trans woman they earlier hired as a transcriber.
The company posted the official statement on its Facebook page, Thursday, August 10.
“Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC) sincerely apologizes to Bunny Cadag who experienced an unfortunate incident as relayed in Bunny’s Facebook post. We apologize to everyone who was offended and affected by this,” the official statement read.
The apology came after the trans woman shared her experience working with the company on Facebook, late Wednesday.
On June 30, Cadag and two other friends, were hired to transcribe a series of evaluation interviews at the company’s main office in Ortigas.
“Pinaalalahanan lang kaming maging neutral,” she wrote. The job was accomplished, proper compensation was given, and it looked like a preview of the next two transcribing sessions they were commissioned to do.
But on July 3, just a day before their second work session, she received a call from Human Capitol Development contact person, Louie Angsico. It was the company that helped hire out the job at Jollibee for the transcribers. He apologized and said the following, according to Cadag:
1. Hindi pa handa ang Jollibee Food Corporation sa LGBT Culture at mga katulad ko;
2. Hindi pa sila welcoming sa idea na may Transgender sa loob ng isa sa mga kwarto nila at gumagawa ng transkripsyon;
3. Ang JFC raw ay may paniniwalang Katoliko; at
4. Willing pa rin silang ibigay sa’kin ang trabaho thru “recording”
“Sa totoo lang, hindi ko alam kung ano’ng dapat maramdaman. Tinanong ko si Mr. Angsico kung saan/kanino eksakto nanggagaling ang diskriminasyong ito at kung paano ito nagumpisa – kung isa ba sa mga empleyado, o mga Store Heads na sumalang sa Interview, o sa mga guwardiya ng gusali,” she said.
Cadag decided to stop transcribing for the company. She sent emails to Ansingco, persistent to find out who raised the gender issue. She also sent a message and complaint letter on Jollibee’s official Facebook page and official website. All of this effort but to no avail. She did not receive a decent response, apart from an automated e-mail reply.
“Sinabi ko sa Complaint Letter na hahayaan ko na muna silang imbestigahan ito sa loob ng tatlong araw. Kailangan nila ng road at panahon, alam ko,” she explained.
Still with no response even after a Jollibee representative asked for another day to investigate, Cadag followed the advice of her friends and filed a complaint to the Commission of Human Rights. The agency is still looking for an investigator to handle her concerns.
While she wants to hear a formal explanation from JFC (we do, too, TBH), Cadag said she is standing up not just for herself but for those who came before her as well as the younger members of the LGBTQIA++ community who might experience discrimination in the workplace.
“Patnubayan nawa, pero higit kailanman, ngayon mas kailangan at dapat ipasa ang Anti–discrimination bill. Nawa ay hindi na ito ibinbin pa. Nananawagan ako. Nakikiusap. Tao sa tao,” Cadag ended.
JFC said that they “do not, in any way, tolerate any disrespect, discrimination, harrassment, violation, or intimidation of any person, consistent with its policy of diversity and inclusion. The company assured the public that Cadag’s case was an isolated incident.
“As of writing, we are reaching out to Bunny to personally extend our apologies,” the company ended.
Photo from Bunny Cadag