LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – The Legazpi City government has reiterated its rules against the discrimination and harassment of frontliners, repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and suspected and confirmed coronavirus patients.
This is part of Executive Order No. 23 on the guidelines on the implementation of a general community quarantine (GCQ) in his city, which Mayor Noel Rosal signed on May 19 and released on his Facebook page the day after.
Section 20 of EO 23 read: “Acts of discrimination inflicted upon health workers, repatriated OFWs and non-OFWs, COVID-19 cases whether confirmed, recovered, or undergoing treatment, as well as suspected and probable cases, and persons under monitoring, are denounced in the strongest terms.”
“Acts in furtherance of discrimination, such as, but not limited to, coercion, libel, slander, physical injuries and the dishonor of contractual obligations such as contracts or lease or employment, shall be dealt with criminally, civilly, and/or administratively under City Ordinance No. 00381-2020 dated 28 April 2020,” it added.
The city government issued EO 23, which amended an earlier EO on the city government’s GCQ guidelines, after it received numerous complaints from people who experienced discrimination, bullying, and even verbal, physical, and emotional abuse because they were suspected to be coronavirus carriers.
“We are unhappy with the reports and complaints we are receiving from the medical workers and other frontliners including those suspected COVID-19…. I am warning those people who might inflict harm to our health workers and other frontliners that they would face criminal, civil, and administrative charges under the City Ordinance No. 00381-2020,” Rosal said.
Rosal reminded the public that frontliners continued to do their job in the middle of the pandemic.
The Sangguniang Panlungsod of Legazpi led by Vice Mayor Bobby Cristobal has also passed Ordinance No. 15-0013-2020 prohibiting the discrimination of coronavirus patients, probable and suspected cases, and frontline workers in times of a public health emergency or pandemic.
Other cities have issued similar EOs to protect medical frontliners who have been shunned by their own communities because of the nature of their work.
The government body tasked to address the coronavirus outbreak had earlier threatened legal action against those who discriminate against frontliners, COVID-19 patients, or suspected cases.
Legazpi recorded 25 confirmed coronavirus cases – nearly half of the 53 cases in Albay – as of May 22. – Rappler.com
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