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Health status included in Anti-Discrimination ordinance

The proposed amendment to the Anti-Discrimination Ordinance, which will include the health status of an individual, was approved on third and final reading in yesterday’s regular session.

The amendment focused on the inclusion of the health status as one of the grounds against discrimination, especially in workplaces.

The current Anti-Discrimination of Davao City only provides protection for ethnicity, religious affiliation or belief, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, and color of skin.

The ordinance stipulates that an employee should not be discriminated based on health status except if it is deemed one of the authorized causes in terminating an employee based on the Labor Code.

The ordinance also states that an admission of a person to any public or private institutions shall be made without prejudice on the health status, except if a person suffers from a disease which could be a valid ground for dismissal pursuant to the providing laws including the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Labor Code.

The amendment also provides for the inclusion of the City Health Officer, a representative from different LGBTQ++organizations, and a representative from the Integrated Gender Development Division (IGDD) to the Anti-Discrimination Mediation and Conciliation Board.

The item was initially objected by Councilor Rene Elias Lopez on grounds that special identification of individuals with health issues might only lead to discrimination. He also added that the protection of an individual is of his or her own decision including his decision to be tested.

The body then had to conduct a nominal voting.

Only two councilors, Danilo Dayanghirang and Rene Elias Lopez, voted no to the amendments while Councilor Jimmy Dureza abstained.

Dayanghirang objected on the grounds that the health status of an individual is a personal decision.

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