MORE House leaders on Sunday joined calls to stop the spread of anti-Chinese racism in the wake of the global outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), a highly contagious, pneumonia-causing illness that infects the respiratory tract.
House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, Cavite Rep. Elpidio “Pidi” Barzaga, Jr., and Ako Bisaya party-list Rep. Sonny Lagon lamented that the hostility sparked by the deadly virus is now becoming a serious case of China-bashing.
“Please work for the common good of everyone. Avoid sowing panic. Stop spreading false information and hate campaign against Chinese people. Let’s pray for good health and the immediate recovery of those who have been affected,” said Romualdez, who chairs the powerful House cCmmittee on Rules.
Barzaga, a vice chairman of the House Committee on Health, said resorting to “worst stereotypes” against Chinese people would not help the country, even the entire world in addressing the health threats of the dreaded 2019-nCoV.
“No debate, all of us are very scared of the 2019-nCoV, but let’s be fair and humane. They (Chinese) are victims,” said Barzaga, who chairs the House Ccomittee on Natural Resources and president of the National Unity Party (NUP).
Lagon agreed that “Chinese people are victims and we should not exacerbate their sufferings by issuing harsh statements against them,”
“Rather than sow hate, let’s be a potent tool against the outbreak by spreading only true and accurate information free of any hatred against the Chinese people. Let’s spread love and care and pray for their swift recovery,” said Lagon as he reminded once again the Filipino people to practice proper hygiene.
In a related development, House Assistant Minority Leader and Quezon City Rep. Precious Hipolito Castelo appealed to the House leadership to expedite the passage of her filed House Bill (HB) No. 3693 which seeks to outlaw and punish spitting in public places nationwide following the deadly 2019n-CoV.
“I appeal for the immediate passage of National Spitting Ban Act or penalizing the spitting in any public places indoor or outdoor,” said Castelo, adding that spitting is highly unhygienic and risky because bacterial species, such as the mycobacterium tuberculosis, the one that causes TB, are contagious and airborne.