Legazpi mayor issues EO on frontliners protection

LEGAZPI CITY --- In an effort to protect frontliners in the fight against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the city government here has issued measures that would protect medical workers and all persons working as frontliners from bullying and discrimination.

Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal issued Executive Order (EO) No. 023, series 2020 mandating and strengthening measures that would protect all frontliners from discrimination, bullying and harassment. The order came after the city government received numerous complaints from health workers including barangay officials who experienced discrimination and bullying from the general public while working amidst the existence of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rosal’s EO laid down safety nets and disciplinary measures in an effort to protect health care workers including other front-liners, repatriated overseas Filipino workers, suspected and confirmed Covid-19 patients from discrimination, bullying, harassment, physical, and emotional maltreatment.

“We are unhappy with the reports and complaints we are receiving from the medical workers and other frontliners including those suspected of Covid-19 infection. I am warning those people who might inflict harm to our health workers and other frontliners that they would face criminal, civil and administrative charges under City Ordinance No. 00381-2020 dated April 30, 2020,” he said.

Rosal said that these frontliners are responsible for saving the lives of people, despite of great danger to themselves.

Included in the safety measures are the protection of health workers from refusal to convey by a public utility vehicle, as well as contractual obligations such as contracts of lease or employment.

Also contained in the EO are the guidelines on general community quarantine (GCQ) prevailing in the city. Rosal said that people who commit acts such as discrimination, maltreatment, shame, bullying, harassment, slanders and worst, to inflict physical harm to people involved in curbing the spread of the deadly virus disease, shall be charged criminally.

Similarly, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Legazpi led by Vice Mayor Bobby Cristobal passed City Ordinance No. 15-0013-2020 prohibiting discrimination against persons infected, suspect, an probable cases and frontline workers in times of public health emergency or pandemic.

The ordinance stated that any person, who shall publicly claim or make post on social media to announce or spread any information that a person is infected, or is under monitoring or investigation due to Covid-19, whether or not the same has been confirmed from the list given by the authorized agency or department, will be liable under the ordinance.

The offender will be charged under the Revised Penal Code, while those who will discriminate, bully or harass frontliners will be penalized with one year imprisonment and a fine of P5,000; for slander and defamation, the offenders will be fined P3,000 and penalized for one to three months imprisonment.