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Discrimination Toward Frontliners Frowned

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Discrimination Toward Frontliners Frowned
« on: July 14, 2020, 04:05:36 PM »
By Ric Obedencio
P5K fine for discrimination vs.
front-liners, COVID suspects

The provincial board has pressed on with its campaign, no to discrimination against frontliners and COVID suspects in the war versus COVID-19 pandemic.

This came after it approved Provincial Ordinance No.22-2020, penalizing violators with a graduated fine of P1,000 to P5,000 or imprisonment up to six months, social committee chairperson Lucille Lagunay, sponsor of the measure, said.

The prohibited acts are the following: any act or make utterances, post or publish articles which cause or tend to cause stigma, disgrace, shame, humiliation, harassment or otherwise discriminate any person protected by this Ordinance.

Others are denying access to government program and services, refusal admission or expel from public markets, supermarkets, groceries, bakeshops, convenience stores; refusal entry or eject from usual accommodation in any lodging house, apartment, motel, hotel, inn, dormitory. And any other dwelling offered to the public for rent; prohibition of  the return of individuals to their residences even after obtaining clearance, denial access or admission to medical and other health services, insurance; denial access to and/or use of private establishment, facilities, utilities, transportation services available to the public; any form of threat of physical, mental, and verbal violence, intimidation and other disruptive behavior; refusal to employment to a job applicant or imposing onerous terms; unauthorized disclosure of personal information of individual  who is a PUM, PUI, an active COVID-19 case or who has recovered from the disease.

Those who commit of the foregoing or any natural and juridical persons who commit the same “shall be held criminally liable and penalized accordingly.”

Lagunay said in one of the “whereases” of the measure several reports have it that people who have recovered from the disease were prevented from returning to their homes, some were shunned or refused services by local stores and other untold discriminatory incidents.

Lagunay said there’s a necessity to legislate this measure to protect the frontliners and non-frontliners against discrimination, fear and hate considering that stigma may set in in these people with disease, hence tend them to hide their disease and preventing them to seek treatment.

Frontliners include medical and non-medical personnel, private or public, who directly interact with any person to provide them with essential services.

Lagunay said that she deviated from what appeared to be a template of similar ordinances passed by the legislative bodies of the municipalities to expand its scope provincewide.

The anti-discrimination measure sponsored by Board member Fans Gelaine Garcia and her being the chairperson of social welfare committee and co-sponsored by BMs Restituto Auxtero and Aldner Damalerio. (rvo)

PIC – BM Lagunay

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