The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has denounced the act of discrimination against a pregnant woman in Pampanga who tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The CHR received reports that the woman’s house in Porac, Pampanga was fenced in by barangay officials after they found out that she tested positive for the disease.
CHR spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia said that the barangay officials should have helped her instead of making her feel like an outcast of society.
“Kinukundena ng CHR ang lahat ng uri ng diskriminasyon at stigma laban sa mga indibidwal na nagpositibo sa COVID-19 disease. Sa halip ng pagtuligsa, tulong at pag-alalay ang kanilang kailangan upang malampasan ang hamon ng nakamamatay na sakit (The CHR condemns all forms of discrimination and stigma against individuals who test positive for COVID-19 disease. Instead of being denounced, they need help and support to overcome the challenges posed by the deadly disease),” she said.
De Guia said that it is the responsibility of government officials to uphold the rights of individuals in the middle of the health crisis.
“Paalala ng Komisyon sa lahat, lalung-lalo na sa mga awtoridad na nagpapatupad ng mga batas patungkol sa community quarantine, na maging makatao at bigyang konsiderasyon ang kalagayan ng mga mamamayang apektado ng sakit at tulungan nang maayos ang kanilang pangangailangan (The Commission is reminding everyone, especially the authorities who are enforcing the laws on community quarantine, to be humane and consider the condition of the people affected by the disease and help address their needs properly),” she said.
The CHR said it is supporting House Bill No. 6676, “An Act Prohibiting Discrimination Against Persons who are Confirmed, Suspect, and Probable Cases of COVID-19 Virus, Repatriated OFWs, Health Workers, Responders, and Service Workers.” The bill was introduced by Rep. Jose Christopher “Kit” Belmonte.
With a bill that will provide legal safeguards and immediate remedy for those facing stigma and discrimination, the CHR believes that the government will indeed fulfill its duty to protect and promote human rights for all.