DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The 19th City Council has passed two ordinances under suspended rules proposed by the committee on peace and public safety.
Committee head Councilor Maria Belen Acosta said the council passed the ordinance instituting the Davao City COVID-19 Enhanced Community Quarantine Policies.
Acosta said that there is a need to do quick and appropriate actions in combating the spread of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) as the city faced limited testing kits and results have been taking too long to process.
“Whereas there is an immediate need to suppress the spread of COVID-19 in Davao City by means of stricter implementation of existing government guidelines, and health and safety measures,” Acosta’s resolution said.
Under Acosta’s committee, the council also passed an ordinance prohibiting any form of harassment, discrimination, prejudice or inflicting any shame or humiliation against frontline worker, confirmed infected patients, patients under monitoring or patients under investigation and close contacts during this State of National Health Emergency and imposing penalties therein.
Under the approved ordinance, there will be penalties to individuals who harass, discriminate, prejudice or inflict shame or humiliate frontline workers ranging from the displacement of frontliners and patients from their rented premises, dishonoring contractual obligations such as contracts of employment, and refusing to provide basic services such as public transport to actual physical assaults and harassments.
“If left unattended, these forms of discrimination can lead to harmful stereotypes regarding the spread of the disease and at worst prevent people from seeking immediate medical assistance. Furthermore, as harassment and discrimination [of] our health workers who [have been] tirelessly working in the frontlines and risking their lives can lead to demoralization and post grave threats to their safety and security,” said Acosta.
In her radio interview with the Davao City Disaster Radio, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said she has been receiving reports of various incidents against medical frontliners. The city has already acted on the concerns and arranged for them to be temporarily housed in different hotels, inns, and schools in the city.
The council dispensed with all agenda under item F (third and final reading ordinances) and item G (unfinished business) until the next regular session to tackle urgent matters under suspended rules. (davaotoday.com)