[Statement] NAGKAISA! Condemns Violence, Abuse, Discrimination Against Health Workers
NAGKAISA!, the biggest labor alliance in the country, holds that discrimination, abuse or violence against workers who have risked their lives to save others is not only lamentable but highly deplorable or condemnable to the highest degree.
Among the recently reported acts of violence, abuse, and discrimination of Health Workers were, among others:
1. A male nurse in a privately owned hospital based in Cebu City was reportedly splashed with chlorine by two men on board a motorcycle while he walking along Tres De Abril Street in Cebu City on Friday evening, March 27, 2020(CDN 3/29/20)
2. A utility staff member of St. Louis Hospital in Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat, was harassed and splashed with bleach solution. (DOH, ABS-CBN 11:11pm 3/29/20)
3. Hospital security guards and nurses in Bataan were evicted from their rented houses because their owners feared that they would be infected by these health workers. (DZMM 7am news, 3/29/20).
4. A Nurse of a private hospital was splattered by bleach all over his face while he was on his way to report for duty in Tacurong, SK (MB 3/29/20).
5. Physicians, nurses, medical technologists, and other health workers have been expelled from their dormitories or were even being looked upon with disdain like they were carriers of the coronavirus themselves in Baguio City (MB 3/25/20).
6. Several homeowners, belonging to a subdivision in Bogo City, were planning to draft a petition that would seek to bar hospital workers from entering their properties. (CDN 3/29/20).
7. Health workers were also refused service in eateries, denied rides in public transport and asked to leave their apartments. (PDI 3/31/20).
NAGKAISA is one with the Department of Health (DOH) and other women and men of goodwill in condemning these cases of discrimination, abuse or harassment of health care workers. Once more, these acts of abuse and harassment are unacceptable!
NAGKAISA! strongly protests and demands that the situation be corrected as soon as possible by the authorities to investigate these incidences and penalize the culprits or responsible persons who committed these deplorable acts as these are not an ordinary breach of law but violations of human rights.
NAGKAISA! recognizes that health workers have the right to live in freedom and safety and the right to live life without discrimination while performing their jobs. These are among the rights recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Violence, abuse or discrimination towards health workers or persons who may have come in contact with, as well as health practitioners helping patients is a breach of human rights.
NAGKAISA! views these incidents as unfair and unfortunate and one way to avoid these being repeated is for LGUs to secure their safety. Alternatively, health workers must be provided temporary living quarters at their place of work or nearby.
As of Monday, the Philippines has a total of 1546 COVID-19 cases, with 78 fatalities and 42 recoveries.
Twelve Filipino doctors have sacrificed their lives against this COVID-19 pandemic.
NAGKAISA! supports our physicians, nurses, medical technologists, security guards, utility personnel and other health workers in the frontline. They need society’s protection when they are at home, in transit to and from the hospital, or wherever they are now!
Though our workers have the right to refuse to work in a dangerous and hazardous situation, NAGKAISA! is deeply grateful for the volunteerism of the health workers who risk their lives and limbs in the frontlines.
NAGKAISA! salutes our health workers for their bravery and volunteerism in the frontlines. They are fighting to mitigate and prevent the spread of coronavirus 2019.
They are fighting for you and me.
NAGKAISA! LABOR COALITION
Atty. Sonny Matula
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