DAVAO City committee on health chairperson Mary Joselle Villafuerte said the inclusion of health status in the amended Anti-Discrimination Ordinance will benefit employees, especially those suffering from communicable diseases.
The amended ordinance, signed on March 22, 2019 by Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, will cover the membership of the City Health Office (CHO), lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, queer (LGBTQ+), and the Integrated Gender and Development Division (IGDD) in the anti-discrimination mediation and conciliation board.
Originally passed in 2012, the ordinance aims to sanction and penalize discriminatory acts based on sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, color, descent, national or ethnic origin, religious affiliation or belief, and health status.
Villafuerte said her committee pushed for its amendment after getting reports from physicians and patients in the city that there were incidents of discrimination against persons positive with Hepatitis B, human immunodeficiency virus-acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV-Aids), and Tuberculosis (TB).
She also reiterated the advisory from the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) that no persons shall be discriminated, whether removed from work or not accepted in companies, upon workplace or elsewhere.
“We hope that by educating the HR (human resources) heads, through continuous IEC (information, education and communication) campaign, we can prevent incidents of discrimination due to health status,” Villafuerte said.
Yellow Warriors Society Philippines - Davao Chapter president Ariel Carcallas also lauded the city government for the amendment of the ordinance.
“This ordinance is a monumental help to viral hepatitis carriers as this safeguard a fairer employment opportunity by elimination of health requirements prior to employment,” Carcallas said.
He hopes that other cities and the Congress will institutionalize it. (RLL)