House approves COVID-19 anti-discrimination bill on 3rd reading


Posted at Jun 03 2020 05:57 AM

MANILA - The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed on third and final reading House Bill No. 6817, which seeks to protect persons who are confirmed, suspect or probable coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

Under HB 6817, or the COVID-19 Related Anti-Discrimination Act, discrimination against individuals who are confirmed, probable and suspect COVID-19 cases will be prohibited, if it becomes a law.

Discrimination is also prohibited against essential and frontline workers, healthcare workers, responders, recognized volunteers, stranded individuals, service workers, repatriated OFWs and family members of the mentioned categories.

Persons who are found guilty of acts such as harassment, assault unjust distinction, exclusion or restriction against individuals who fit in the categories can be imprisoned for a year up to 10 years.

They can also be slapped with a fine ranging from P200,000 to P1 million.

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, Iloilo Rep. Raul Tupas, Masbate Narciso Bravo Jr. and Quezon City Rep. Feliciano Belmonte Jr sponsored the bill.

Other bills that were also passed on third and final reading on Tuesday were:

  • House Bill 6803 - seeks provision of comprehensive renal replacement therapy for patients with end-stage renal disease in all regions.
  • House Bill 6768 - pursues more protection to consumers of financial products and services.
  • House Bill 6554 - aims to declare January 22 of every year a special working holiday to be known as “National Farmers Day”.
  • House Bill 6470 -- seeks to amend Republic Act 10366 or “An act authorizing the Commission on Elections to establish precincts assigned to accessible polling places exclusively for persons with disabilities and senior citizens”.
  • House Bill 6816 -- aims to ensure Philippine financial industry resiliency against the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • House Bill 6654 -- endeavors to reorganize and convert the Insurance Commission into a collegial body.
  • House Bill 6595 -- seeks to mandate colleges and universities to instruct their students other foreign languages besides English. - with reports from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News