Illness should not be cause for termination – Villafuerte
Councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte said she wanted an amendment to the 2012 anti-discrimination ordinance by including discrimination against one person’s health status as part of outlawed practices in the city.
Villafuerte said she was prompted by reports that some employees were fired from their jobs because they were found to have illnesses such as Hepatitis B.
“In 2010, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) already issued a memorandum informing business establishments not to discriminate against those who have hepatitis B, however, there are still workers who were fired because of the illness,” Villafuerte said.
Dr. Gema Otero, an Internist and Gastroenterologist, said Hepatitis B was not like cough or other diseases that can be transmitted to another person through the air.
“Hepatitis B can be acquired through mother to child, blood transfusion or through sexual intercourse. It cannot be acquired through food, utensils or by holding the hands of an infected person,” Otero said.
Villafuerte said once health status will be included in the anti-discrimination ordinance, violators will be fined between P1,000 to P5,000; and/or imprisonment of at least 15 days, depending upon the discretion of the court. CIO