MANILA, Philippines — Local government units (LGUs) should pass measures to ensure that front-line health workers and patients, who test positive for the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), do not suffer from discrimination in their own communities.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has called on LGUs to pass ordinances that will penalize acts of discrimination against COVID-19 front-liners and patients.
This was amid reports that the house of a family, whose patriarch died of COVID-19, was stoned by their neighbors in Iloilo.
“The IATF condemns these kinds of incident and we are sternly issuing a warning that we will file cases against those who will commit acts of discrimination. I hope that the LGUs will respond by issuing an executive order or ordinance penalizing these,” said IATF -EID spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.
Pelted with stones
In a virtual press briefing, Nograles said he was saddened by the reports that neighbors of a deceased COVID-19 patient pelted his house with stones in Iloilo.
The Palace official pointed out that the deceased’s family agreed to disclose their status as persons under monitoring in the interest of transparency.
“These acts do not help at all, and the government will act on cases of discrimination wherever and whenever these happen,” Nograles said.
Nograles also hailed the efforts of lawyers from the University of the Philippines College of Law to volunteer their services to victims of discrimination.“To my fellow lawyers, now is the time for us to offer our services to those in need,” he said.
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