Belmonte cautions: No discrimination vs Brgy Kamuning residents
MANILA, Philippines — Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Thursday warned against the discrimination of Barangay (village) Kamuning residents after the reported detection of the new coronavirus variant that was first reported in the United Kingdom in one returning resident.
Belmonte, citing information from the village chairman that said some residents were barred from going to their places of work.
“Ang binalita sakin ng kapitana is that they have been experiencing discrimination in the barangay,” she said in a press briefing.
(The barangay captain told me that they (residents) are experiencing discrimination in their barangay.)
“Sinabi niya na napakarami sa kanyang mga mamamayan takot na takot na, nangangamba na at marami din sa kanila ay hindi na pinayagang pumasok sa iba’t-iba nilang tanggapan bilang empleyado, so in other words they were not allowed to report for work,” she added.
(She told me residents are really scared and a lot of them were no longer allowed to report for work.)
While the mayor understood the initial reaction of the employers, she said further discrimination of Barangay Kamuning residents is punishable under the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance.
“Yung iba’t-ibang opisina, nauunawan ko po kung kayo ay nangangamba pero dito sa lungsod Quezon meron po tayong anti-discrimination ordinance,” she said.
(I understand that you are just concerned, but we have an anti-discrimination ordinance here in Quezon City.)
“What I’m saying is if after we have already informed the public, made them aware of the true situation and yet patuloy pa rin nilang dini-discriminate ang mga mamamayan nang wala batayan, no basis whatsoever, just by being residents of Kamuning, hindi na sila papayagang magtrabaho or hindi na pahihintulutan maghanapbuhay, that is subject to charges under our anti-discrimination ordinance,” she added.
(What I’m saying is if after we have already informed the public, made them aware of the true situation and yet you continue to discriminate against those residents without basis and just because they are from Brgy. Kamuning, you will not allow them to report for work and make a living, which is subject to charges under our anti-discrimination ordinance.)
On Wednesday, the Department of Health said the Philippine Genome Center reported the detection of the new variant, known as B117, after samples from a Filipino who arrived from the United Arab Emirates on Jan. 7 yielded positive genome sequencing results.
The patient with the UK variant is a male resident of Barangay Kamuning who departed for Dubai on Dec. 27 for business purposes and arrived in the Philippines last Jan. 7 via Emirates Flight No. EK 332.
But Belmonte said Quezon City residents need not be alarmed and explained that the patient tested negative for the coronavirus prior to his flight from the Philippines to Dubai.
The patient, the mayor added, also tested negative when he arrived in Dubai.
“Nagkataon lang na residente ng Kamuning,” Belmonte said.
(He just so happened to be a resident of Barangay Kamuning.)
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