End bias against workers with HIV, employees urged
MANILA, Philippines—The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) and the Pinoy Plus Association Inc. have called on employers to stop the discrimination against and the termination of employees found positive for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
“This type of discrimination is persisting and spreading even in the workplace,” said Gerard Seno, executive vice president of the Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines.
“We learned that many workers with HIV have lost their jobs, had their employment applications turned down, their promotions declined and access to affordable health services denied. We must remove these kinds of discrimination,” Seno said in a statement.
The two groups made the call ahead of the observance of International Workers Memorial Day on Monday.
“We want to highlight the preventable nature of workplace accidents, ill health and discrimination, and to promote improved health and safety at work,” Seno added.
The activity is in line with the Philippine National AIDS Council’s thrust to help sustain the national campaign to halt the ballooning incidence of HIV/AIDS in the country.
Seno urged the Department of Labor and Employment to strongly enforce its Department Order 102-10, or the guidelines for the implementation of HIV and AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) prevention and control in the workplace.
“There’s also a need for all employers, particularly the heads of company human resource departments, to adapt and incentivize the program in their respective companies or offices,” Seno said.
The latest Philippine HIV/AIDS registry released in February 2014 reported 486 new HIV-positive individuals. The figure is 43 percent higher compared to the same period last year which recorded 339 cases. Most cases were male between 18 and 63 years old, with most of them from 20 to 29 years old.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.