Baguio, Philippines – Baguio City Council on February 21, 2022 approved on third and final reading the proposed ordinance declaring war against Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Baguio City, according to the ordinance, remains to have the highest number of HIV cases in the region from 2018 up to this year.
Once the local law gets the signature of the local executive, its implementation shall commence.
The ordinance, authored by Councilor Levy Lloyd Orcales, aims to strengthen the city’s mechanism to control the increase of HIV cases through creating strong connection among clinical and public health professionals, the local government unit, and other relevant partners.
Expansion of HIV/AIDS program
With the ordinance, the local government declares its war against HIV/AIDS, which shall be done through actively promoting public awareness regarding HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infection (STIs).
The movement will be a comprehensive and city-wide information that includes educational campaigns within schools, training centers, workplaces, and the grassroots.
“Once enacted, the ordinance shall also mandate the operators, managers, and entertainers of entertainment establishments to attend seminars on HIV/AIDS prevention conducted by the City Health Services Office, AWAC, or civil society organizations (CSOs) accredited by the city government. Attendance to these seminars shall be a prerequisite for the issuance/renewal of an entertainment establishment’s permit to operate” reads the ordinance.
Moreover, the city council encouraged entertainment establishments to provide accessible information regarding HIV/AIDS and free condoms and lubricants. Entertainers working in the said establishment should likewise voluntarily get HIV testing.
To protect the rights of people living with HIV, the city government shall consult the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to prevent HIV-related stigma discrimination and to promote confidentiality.
The implementation of the programs and policies under the ordinance shall be appropriated to an amount of P500,000.00.
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