DILG tells LGUs to pass, strictly implement policies vs discrimination of COVID-19 frontline workers, patients
Robie de Guzman • April 10, 2020 • 535
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Friday said it will closely monitor local government units (LGU) to see if they are complying with the order to pass and enforce an ordinance banning any acts of discrimination against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) frontline workers.
The DILG stressed the importance of the passage, as well as the proper enforcement of a local policy prohibiting and penalizing specific acts of discrimination against frontline workers.
“Babantayan po ng DILG ang compliance ng LGUs sa direktiba ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) na magpasa ng anti-discrimination executive orders o ordinances para sa frontline workers sa gitna ng Covid-19 crisis,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement.
The IATF earlier said that acts of discrimination, such as, but not limited to, coercion, libel, slander, physical injuries, and the dishonor of contractual obligations such as contracts of lease or employment shall be dealt with criminally, civilly and/or administratively.
The DILG has been urging local chief executives nationwide to pass and implement ordinances banning acts of discrimination and harassment against health professionals, police, military, and other workers on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19 outbreak.
This is following “alarming” reports on incidents against frontline workers, ranging from verbal discrimination to harmful situation like throwing of bleach and the shooting of an ambulance driver.
The Department of Health also noted reports of frontliners being refused basic services like public transport, laundry service, entry to supermarket or grocery stores, or being evicted from their lodging or housing.
“Sila pa naman ang mga bayani sa gitna ng laban sa Covid-19 subali’t nakakaranas at iniinda pa nila ang diskriminasyon at harassment,” he added.
The DILG chief said LGUs should act swiftly to safeguard the frontline workers “who are laying their lives on the line for our general well-being.”
“Umaasa ang national government sa agarang aksyon ng LGUs sa nangyayaring diskriminasyon sa frontline workers. Let us accord them the dignity and honor they deserve for their courage and service in the fight against the deadly Covid-19,” he added.
Año lauded some LGUs, including Manila, Muntinlupa and Quezon City, that have already passed an ordinance on anti-discrimination of frontliners amid the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.
DILG Spokesperson and Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya also urged LGUs to include in the coverage of the anti-discrimination ordinances the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who have returned to their provinces amid the global pandemic.
“Maliban pa po sa frontline workers, protektahan din natin ang OFWs. Alalahanin po natin ang kanilang sakripisyo bilang modern Filipino heroes na sumusuporta sa ekonomiya ng bansa nang sila’y nagbabanat ng buto at minsa’y nakadaranas din ng diskriminasyon doon sa ibayong bansa,” Malaya said.
COVID-19 patients, as well as persons under monitoring (PUM) and persons under investigation (PUIs) should also be covered by the local policy, he added.
“They did not choose to be sick. They should also be afforded the State’s protection and care,” Malaya said as he reiterated the pronouncement of the Departatment of Justice (DOJ) that they will provide assistance to those who suffer discrimination due to COVID-19.
President Rodrigo Duterte has also earlier ordered the police and military to watch out for anyone who will harass health workers. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – Nanindigan si Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte sa mga polisiyang ipinatutupad sa ilang mall sa lungsod kasunod ng pagbubukas ng limitadong operasyon ng mga ito sa gitna ng community quarantine.
Kabilang sa mga polisiyang ito ang pagbabawal sa pagsusukat ng mga damit at ang ‘no return, no exchange policy’ o pagsasauli o pagpapapalit ng biniling produkto.
Ayon kay Belmonte, ang mga panuntunang ipinatutupad sa mga shopping mall sa lungsod ay bahagi ng precautionary measure laban sa novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Giit ng alkalde, malaki ang tiyansa na makahawa sa iba kung infected ng virus ang nagsukat ng damit.
“Initiative ng city government ito, kasi alam naman natin na ang clothes store ay bukas na at alam din natin na pwedeng matransmit ang virus sa pamamagitan ng damit and the city government ay nagkusa na no trying of clothes, walang pagsusukat,” ani Belmonte.
Aniya, batid niyang maraming magagalit sa kanyang patakaran ngunit humihingi siya ng pang-unawa sa publiko dahil para din naman ito sa kapakanan ng mga residente sa lungsod.
“Sa tingin ko, dapat maunawaan nila na this is for their own health and welfare and syempre, kung bumili ka na, ang understanding dyan nasukat mo na hindi mo na sana pwedeng ibalik yun, gusto nating protektahan ang kalusugan ng ating mamamayan,” ani Belmonte.
Ang pahayag ay ginawa ng alkalde matapos punahin ng Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) ang mga nasabing polisiya sa ilang mall sa Quezon City.
Una nang sinabi ng DTI na labag sa batas ang ‘no return, no exchange’ policy dahil sa ilalim ng Republic Act 7394 o Consumer Act of the Philippines, may karapatan ang mga mamimili na isauli ang nabiling produkto lalo na kung ito ay depektibo.
Payo ng ahensiya, magpulong ang mga lokal na pamahalaan, mall operators at ang Department of the Interior and Local Government upang ayusin ang nasabing panuntunan.
Iminungkahi rin ng DTI ang pagkakaroon ng uniformed protocols na ipatutupad sa mga mall upang maiwasan ang kalituhan sa publiko. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Lea Ylagan)
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said several private colleges and universities have assured that they will not implement a tuition fee increase this school year.
CHED Chairperson Prospero de Vera said universities like the University of Santo Tomas and De La Salle University already announced that they would not be increasing their tuition.
“Iyang mga universities na malalaki, kayang kaya nila itong financial situation (Those big universities, they can handle this financial situation) because their sources of income are varied. They have other businesses,” he said.
CHED also assured they already have a mandate on the implementation of staggered payment on tuition fees.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday (May 28) has appealed to private school institutions to allow staggered payments. He also announced that parents, who cannot afford to pay their child’s education fees, can request for a loan.
“Itong Land Bank, bubuksan namin (We will open Land Bank) and you can borrow money to finance the education of your children,” he said. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Central Luzon Regional Office has arrested two Chinese nationals for operating an underground clinic and pharmacy in Angeles, Pampanga.
Authorities raided an underground medical clinic and pharmacy on Volga Street in Barangay Anunas on Thursday (May 28).
The arrested Chinese nationals were identified as 66-year-old Chen Zheng Zhong and 33-year-old son Chen Hai Fang. Chen Zheng Zhong is the doctor treating Chinese patients while his son sells illegal Chinese medicines.
According to the NBI, the suspects used a two-storey apartment as their underground clinic and pharmacy.
“Hindi mo talaga iisipin na mayroong clinic doon sa loob kasi isang apartment lang, (You wouldn’t think that there is a clinic inside because it’s only an apartment),” according to NBI Regional Office 3 Operations Officer Atty. Marvin de Jemil.
“Wala silang permit from the FDA [Food and Drug Administration], and then naghahanap din kami ng business permit, wala din silang permit. Wala rin silang license to operate (They don’ have a permit from the FDA, nor a business permit. They also don’t have a license to operate),” Jemil added.
Upon inspection of the NBI and the FDA, they found six hospital-like beds, two beds on the first floor and four more beds on the second floor of the building.
The two suspects are now detained at the NBI regional Office at City of San Fernando, Pampanga and are facing several charges including the violation of the Medical Act of 1959.AAC (with reports from Leslie Huidem)
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