City officials warn public of sanctions for discrimination
The city council has appealed to all barangay officials and residents to be mindful of their words and actions towards Covid-19 patients and their loved ones.
In a resolution, city officials reminded the public about the city’s ordinance against discriminatory acts towards health workers, essential and medical personnel, and individuals affected by the Covid-19.
Councilor Mylen Yaranon, main author of the resolution, deplored the reported discriminatory acts of some barangay officials and residents of a certain barangay against a Covid-19 patient.
“To add insult to injury, photos were even posted on social media showing the patient’s home being cordoned off,” the councilor said.
The city council is disappointed with such discriminatory acts and denounce the incident in the strongest possible manner, Yaranon said.
She described such acts as “remnants of a by-gone era where ignorance reigned.”
Yaranon called on the public to be compassionate and understanding, emphasizing that individuals afflicted with the Covid-19 should not be blamed for having acquired the disease.
“It must be reminded that such acts of discrimination towards them are penalized under our existing ordinance,” Yaranon added.
Ordinance 44-2020 prohibits any act, utterance, statement or deed that degrades, demeans, or belittles the status and dignity of Covid-19 confirmed, suspected, and probable persons, because of their health condition or health status; and similar acts against health workers and essential workers.
Denying or refusing fully recovered Covid-19 patients, health workers, and essential workers access to basic goods and services, accommodations, or lodging is also prohibited, including inflicting physical harm or threatening to inflict physical harm on Covid-19 confirmed, suspected, and probable persons, health workers, and essential workers.
Violators are fined P3,000 or imprisonment of 30 days, or both, at the discretion of the court.
The ordinance also makes it unlawful to announce, reveal, publish, or post on social media any information containing the name, address, health condition or whereabouts of Covid-19 confirmed, suspected, or probable persons, or those individuals suspected to be any of the same, whether or not said information is verified by authorities, without the consent of the affected persons.
The ordinance asserted only proper authorities are authorized to disclose any information of the affected person.
Violators are fined P5,000 or imprisonment of not less than 30 days but not exceeding six months, or both, at the discretion of the court.
Maximum penalty shall be meted out to a public officer found to have committed any of the enumerated prohibited acts.
Previously, Mayor Benjamin Magalong issued a statement condemning acts of discrimination allegedly committed by officials and residents of a certain barangay.
The mayor said he will have the incident investigated and will file criminal and administrative cases against those responsible.
“It’s ironic that we pride ourselves of being called disciplined and cooperative when we cannot bestow compassion and respect to a person in need,” Magalong lamented. – Jordan G. Habbiling with reports from Aileen Refuerzo