Metro Manila LGUs lauded for enforcing anti-discrimination measures
MANILA, Philippines — All Metro Manila local government units now have an ordinance or executive order that penalizes persons found discriminating against health workers and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients, the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases said Monday.
“Speaking of LGUs, I am happy to report that according to the DILG [Department of the Interior and Local Government], all LGUs in Metro Manila now have an anti-discrimination ordinance or EO [Executive Order] in place,” IATF spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said in a press conference.
Nograles also encouraged the public to report to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) all forms of discrimination against health workers and people suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19.
“May babala din ang NBI. Ang lahat ng uri ng pananakot, diskriminasyon, at pananakit sa ating mga frontliners ay may karampatang parusa. Pwede nyo pong ireport sa NBI kung ikaw man ay nakaranas o nakasaksi ng mga ito,” he said.
(The NBI also issued a warning that all acts of intimidation, discrimination and harassment towards our frontliners will be punished. You can report this to NBI if you experienced or witnessed such incidents.)
There have been several reports of health workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 response experiencing harassment.
Earlier, an ambulance driver in Candelaria, Quezon was injured after a subdivision resident shot him after an argument.
A male nurse in Cebu also faced discrimination and harassment after he was splashed with chlorine by two men aboard a motorcycle.
A frontliner in Sultan Kudarat, meanwhile, was attacked with bleach while on his way to work.
Such incidents prompted the Department of Health (DOH) and the IATF to urge LGUs to issue an EO or ordinance prohibiting and penalizing acts of discrimination and attacks against health workers and COVID-19 patients.
President Rodrigo Duterte himself also condemned the discrimination and harassment of those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 health crisis.
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