Quezon City bans discrimination against COVID-19 patients, frontliners
MANILA, Philippines — The local government of Quezon City has passed an ordinance prohibiting acts of discrimination against confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients, as well as health and emergency workers on the frontline of the battle against the pandemic.
In a statement on Wednesday, Mayor Joy Belmonte signed Executive Order No. 26, Series of 2020 on April 6, which aims to protect COVID-19 positive patients, as well as those suspected of carrying the disease, from any kind of discrimination.
Discriminatory acts against the families of health and emergency workers are prohibited as well, Belmonte added.
The local law was enacted after the Department of Interior and Local Government urged all local government units to issue ordinances to protect both COVID-19 patients and frontliners.
According to the ordinance, acts of discrimination such as denial of access to any place or service—whether housing, food or transportation—are prohibited.
The order, Belmonte said, also bars “stigmatization, or the disclosure of the identity or personal data of a person under investigation (PUI), person under monitoring (PUM) or any person suspected of exposure to COVID-19, whether offline or online, that would result in shame to the concerned person.
Public officials, too, should not refuse assistance to COVID-19 patients, PUIs and PUMs of the disease, the ordinance further stated.
Violators will be penalized under Sec. 9 (a) of Republic Act 11332, Data Privacy Act, Cybercrime Prevention Act and the Revised Penal Code, Belmonte said.
The order will remain in effect until President Rodrigo Duterte lifts the state of public emergency, Belmonte said.
“Discrimination has no place in our city, especially during this time of crisis. We must put a stop to this once and for all,” the mayor stated.
“Ngayong may karampatang parusa na ang diskriminasyon, umaasa akong magdadalawang-isip na ang sinumang nagnanais na gumawa nito. (Now that the discrimination has a corresponding punishment, we are expecting that those who will violate will now think twice about doing it.)
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