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Davao City council wants to expand anti-discrimination law for those with Hepatitis B

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THE AMENDMENT of Davao City’s anti-discrimination ordinance is expected to benefit workers with Hepatitis B, an infection similar to flu but can lead to liver failure or liver cancer. “The discrimination ordinance should be submitted already for second reading but we want to include Hepa B-infected patients in the list of those who should not be discriminated in the workplace,” Majority Floor Leader Melchor J. Quitain, Jr. said in an interview last week. Mr. Quitain said they are currently verifying if the amendment will be compatible with existing labor laws. If the amendment pushes through, the revised ordinance would penalize employers who ask applicants to undergo Hepatitis B testing and refuse to hire them if the result is positive. The current anti-discrimination ordinance, passed in 2012, declares unlawful biased acts against workers based on gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnic origin, and religious affiliation and beliefs. Councilor Mary Joselle D. Villafuerte, chair of the committee on health, previously said there is a need to amend the ordinance to include discrimination on the basis of health status. “No one should discriminate anybody or stop accepting employment based on health status, there are companies making Hepa B testing mandatory. It has to stop,” she said. — Carmencita A. Carillo





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