Bill penalizing discrimination against COVID-19 frontliners and patients approved by House
Those found guilty of harassment and assault will be punished with imprisonment between one to 10 years or a fine of P200,000 up to P1 million
Jun 3, 2020
Yesterday, Jun. 2, the House of Representatives approved the bill that prohibits and penalizes discrimination towards COVID-19 frontliners, suspected, confirmed and recovered patients, stranded individuals traveling from one local government unit to another, repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families and household members.
With 204 lawmakers voting for its approval, House Bill (HB) No. 6817 will penalize persons who fail to give assistance, harass, assault or stigmatize any of the aforementioned. Those who refuse to honor valid and existing contracts that can be deemed as a discriminatory act will also be penalized.
Those found guilty of harassment and assault will be punished with imprisonment between one to 10 years or a fine of P200,000 up to P1 million. While those guilty of the other charges will be imprisoned for six months up to five years or fined between P50,000 and P500,000.
The Senate version of the bill is still pending at the committee level. The House Defeat COVID-19 committee originally passed the bill last May 26.
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Local government units, such as Pasig and Manila, have previously enacted their own ordinances to punish any act of discrimination that “causes stigma, disgrace, shame, humiliation, harassment or discrimination” against COVID-19 patients and frontliners.
Instances of discrimination have been prevalent over quarantine, pushing the Duterte administration to take legal action against those found guilty.
Header photo courtesy of Inquirer.net
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