QC outlaws acts of discrimination vs COVID-19 patients, frontliners

QC outlaws acts of discrimination vs COVID-19 patients, frontliners

Acts of discrimination against persons suspected of having or infected with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), health workers and emergency workers are now prohibited in Quezon City.

Mayor Joy Belmonte signed Executive Order No. 26, Series of 2020 on Monday (April 6), which punishes those who will discriminate persons infected or suspected of having COVID-19 and members of their households.

The order also protects health and emergency workers, as well as their families, from any act of discrimination.

“Discrimination has no place in our city, especially during this time of crisis. We must put a stop to this once and for all,” said Belmonte.

“Ngayong may karampatang parusa na ang diskriminasyon, umaasa akong magdadalawang-isip na ang sinumang nagnanais na gumawa nito,” she added.

The lady Mayor issued the order as she heeded the call of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to local government units to pass measure that would protect frontliners and individuals positive for or suspected of having COVID-19 against discrimination.

The Department of Health (DOH) earlier reported incidents of people being evicted from their homes, harassed, maltreated and injured. Some were refused services by local stores, transportation, boarding houses and other establishments over fears of infection.

In her order, any act of discrimination against persons under investigation, persons under monitoring, COVID-19 infected individuals, health workers, responders and service workers are now prohibited.

The acts include denial of access to any place or service, including housing, food and transportation due to suspected infection or exposure to COVID-19.

The order also bars stigmatization, or the disclosure of the identity or personal data of a PUI, PUM or any person suspected of exposure to COVID-19, whether offline or online, that would result in shame to the concerned person.

Furthermore, public officials should not refuse assistance to PUI, PUM, COVID-19 infected persons or any person suspected of exposure to the virus.

Violators will be penalized under Sec. 9 (a) of Republic Act 11332, Data Privacy Act, Cybercrime Prevention Act and the Revised Penal Code, depending on their actions.

Belmonte said the order will be in effect until President Duterte lifts the state of public health emergency.— By ptvnews.ph

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