BALANGA CITY -- The Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) reiterated recently that employees positive with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) should not be discriminated in the workplace.
In a scientific meeting in line with the Philippine International AIDS Candlelight Memorial 2018, Daryl Lucian Bautista from the Health Control Division of DOLE said employees are encouraged to know their HIV status but they should not be forced by their employers.
“Compulsory HIV testing in the workplace as well as in other institutions is strictly prohibited under our constitution,” he said.
Under Republic Act 8504 otherwise known as Philippine Aids Prevention and Control Act of 1998, discrimination in the workplace is “any form from pre-employment to post-employment including hiring, promotion or assignment, based on the actual, perceived or suspected HIV status of an individual.”
The law also penalizes any educational institution that “refuses admission or expel, discipline, segregate, deny participation, benefits or services to a student or prospective student on the basis of his/her actual, perceived or suspected HIV status.”
In front of 400 health representatives and stakeholders from various organizations, Philippine Shell Petroleum Corporation Country Health Manager Rosalie Rivera shared their programs that maintain a safe workplace for HIV positive workers.
Rivera said they encourage their employees to undergo HIV testing and assure them that they will handle the results with confidentiality.
Meanwhile, Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific President Vice Admiral Eduardo Santos shared his interventions in raising awareness and prevention on HIV to their students.
“In our school, we do not tolerate discrimination on our HIV positive students. We do not isolate them and we let them participate in our activities,” he said.
The scientific meeting centered on Policy Dissemination on HIV in the Workplace and National Measles Supplemental Immunization. (PR)