DAVAO City Councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte said at least seven persons with Hepatitis B virus, who used to be deprived from having a job, are currently working.
During the City Council session Tuesday, November 13, Villafuerte said the Anti-Discrimination Ordinance was amended last July 2018 to include health status.
The ordinance will penalize unlawful acts and conduct of discrimination based on sex, gender, identity, sexual orientation, race, color, descent, nation or ethnic origin, religions affiliation or beliefs, and health status.
“Let us remember that a society which allows discrimination and intolerance is a society where the full potential of a person cannot prosper,” Villafuerte said.
Meanwhile, the head of the Yellow Warriors Society Philippines (YWSP) Inc.- Davao Chapter Ariel Carcallas said they have been encouraging more than 80 individuals with Hepatitis B virus to apply for work since the ordinance was amended but only 27 responded. Out of 27, seven were reportedly hired.
“Para sa amin, malaking bagay na po yun [data] kasi nung hindi pa na-approve ang ordinance, hindi talaga sila nag-a-attempt na mag-apply,” Carcallas said, adding that these seven individuals who bravely applied and were hired by certain companies was a step for them towards their vision.
He added some were hired as call centers while some as shopping mall personnel, among others. However, food establishments are still doubtful in hiring them because of fear of spreading the virus.
“Sa ngayon, we ask help from the local government and we are monitoring every year para malaman ang condition,” Carcallas said. He also said that individuals with Hepatitis B virus have lost their will to try to make a living because of the stigma.
The organization started in 2010 nationwide. It started monitoring in Davao City last 2012 and was one of those who urged the city to include health status in the Anti-Discrimination Ordinance.