Valenzuela ordinance protects COVID-19 patients, PUIs, PUMs vs discrimination

April 07, 2020

THE Valenzuela City Council passed an ordinance that will provide safeguards against all types of discrimination against medical frontliners, COVID-19 patients, Person Under Investigation (PUIs) and Persons Under Monitoring (PUMs).

Also known as "An Ordinance Strengthening the Anti-Discrimination and Equal Protection System of Laws in the City of Valenzuela", the piece of legislation also ensures equal protection for everybody regardless of religion, race or ethnicity, health, physical situation, gender, age, economic or social status.

The ordinance stated that discrimination, in its broadest sense, is the unfair or prejudicial treatment, exclusion, or restriction made on the basis of different categories of people or things, such as disability, gender, ethnicity, religion, socio-political, economic, or civil status.

Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian said that with each story heralding the heroism of the doctors, nurses, medical technologists, laboratory technicians, and other medical frontliners, are sad stories of the same frontliners being denied access to public services, or being prohibited to enter their own villages, houses or condominium units. Some of them even sustain physical injuries.

COVID-19 patients, PUIs, and PUMs suffer the same fate as the frontliners as they, too, are victims of face-to-face bashing, bullying, and hate speeches.

The city chief executive’s repeated calls for compassion, humanity, and understanding have been made especially for the frontliners who are risking their lives to tend to those who need urgent medical attention due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of Valenzuela City’s measures to protect them, violators of the Anti-Discrimination Ordinance will be meted a penalty amounting to P3,000 or imprisoned for 60 days or will both be fined and imprisoned at the discretion of the court.