MANILA – Makati City has passed ordinances requiring all its residents to wear protective gear and punishing any act of discrimination against persons with infectious diseases, as well as healthcare and medical workers who are at risk of infection amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak.
In a Facebook post on Monday, all residents, workers, and visitors coming in and out of the city, are required to use face masks or any protective equipment under City Ordinance No. 2020-089.
The use of protective equipment such as face shields, ear-loop masks, cloth masks, handkerchiefs, scarfs, indigenous, reusable or do-it-yourself masks, and other similar gear that will protect individuals against the spread of the Covid-19 in the city, is highly recommended.
Persons who will violate the ordinance will be penalized with a fine amounting to PHP1,000 for the first offense, PHP3,000 for the second offense, and for third and succeeding offenses, a PHP5,000 fine or an imprisonment of six months, or both fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the proper court.
“Residents, workers, and all other persons in the city are required to wear face masks and other protective equipment while outdoors or in public places during the existence of a state of public health emergency or similar declaration,” the ordinances stated.
On the other hand, under City Ordinance No. 2020-087 or anti-discrimination ordinance, “persons residing and working in Makati, including visitors, are prohibited from stigmatizing or discriminating persons with confirmed Covid-19 cases, medical front-liners and service workers.
Those who will violate the ordinance will be penalized with a fine amounting to PHP5,000 on their first and second offenses and PHP5,000 and one year of imprisonment for the third and succeeding offenses.
Under this ordinance, people are prohibited to spread “false information or the identity of individuals who are infected, under investigation or monitoring due to an infectious or communicable disease in traditional and digital media.”
Property owners are prohibited to impose “restrictions on housing or lodging such as unilateral termination of lease contracts and forced ejectment” against their tenants working as Covid-19 front-liners.
The ordinance also disallows “rejecting job applications, terminating, or imposing discriminatory policies in hiring, provision of employment, and other related benefits, promotion or assignment of an individual despite obtaining clearance of being physically fit to work from the health officials.”
Imposing travel restrictions within Makati or refusing entry into the city, under the ordinance is prohibited, except for restrictions that are in accordance with policies set by the government on community and individual quarantine.
“Refusing admission, expelling, segregating, imposing harsher disciplinary actions, or denying benefits or services to a student or a prospective student,” the ordinance added.
However, the same concern will be granted unless the segregation is mandated by the government to prevent the spread of the disease, provided, that alternative or distance learning modalities will be made available to the segregated student.
Punishment will also be imposed against prohibiting people from entering business establishments, physical or psychological violence which causes stigma to others, as well as bullying, including name-calling to a person, whether personally or through any form of print, broadcast, or social media.
Refusing to transport remains, embalming, and burial services to persons who died due to infectious diseases are also punishable by the law. (PNA)