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DepEd Guidelines for the HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Policy and Program in the Workplace...

For the information and guidance of all concerned, enclosed is a copy of the Guidelines on the Department of Education's Human Immune Deficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Prevention and Control Policy and Program in the Workplace in compliance with the enclosed Republic Act (RA) No. 8504, also known as the "Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998" and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) Announcement No. 21, s. 2010 entitled "Guidelines in the Implementation of Workplace Policy and Education Program on HIV and AIDS" which is self-explanatory.
Department of Education Guidelines for the HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Policy and Program in the Workplace

WHEREAS, Republic Act (R.A.) 8504, also known as "The Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998," was signed into law by the President of the Republic of the Philippines on 13 February 1998 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) were adopted a year later,

WHEREAS, the Civil Service Commission issued Announcement No. 21, s. 2010 titled "Guidelines in the Implementation of Workplace Policy and Education Program on HIV and AIDS" in all government agencies,

BE IT RESOLVED AS IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED, that the following Guidelines for the Implementation of HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Policy and Program in the Workplace in the Department of Education (DepEd) are issued.

1.  COVERAGE

1.1. These Guidelines shall apply to all units and personnel of the Department of Education.

2.  FORMULATION OF POLICY AND PROGRAM

2.1. The Department's Policy and Program on Human Immune Deficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Prevention and Control shall be in accordance with R.R. No. 8504 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations.

2.2. The Department's HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Policy and Program shall be integrated in the DepEd employee health program.

2.3. There shall be collaborative efforts from management and employees in the implementation of the HIV and AIDS policy and program.

2.4. The HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Policy and Program may be included in the provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreements with existing DepEd employees' associations/unions.

2.5. The Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC) and its Secretariat shall provide technical assistance in the formulation and implementation of the Department's HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Policy and Program.

3.  COMPONENTS OF THE HIV AND AIDS PREVENTION AND CONTROL POLICY AND PROGRAM

The policy and program shall include, among others, the following: 

3.1. Advocacy, Information, Education and Training

3.1.1. All Department personnel shall be provided with a standardized basic information and education on STI, HIV and AIDS.

3.1.2. The Health and Nutrition Center (HNC) shall take the lead in undertaking information and education activities on the following major topics, among others:

3.1.2.1. Basic information and statistics on STI, HIV and AIDS

3.1.2.2. Modes of HIV transmission (recognition of risky behavior and self-assessment)

3.1.2.3. Prevention and control of STI and HIV infection (e.g. responsible sexual behavior and harm reduction measures)

3.1.2.4. Gender, Sex and Sexuality

3.1.2.5. Information on confidentiality

3.1.2.6. Promotion of non-discrimination and non-stigmatizing attitude toward people living with and affected by STI, HIV and AIDS

3.1.2.7. Voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) and provider-initiated confidential counseling and testing (PICOT)

3.1.2.8. R.A. No, 8504 and its IRR, with emphasis on the provisions pertaining to government personnel and the workplace and the role of government agencies, specifically the DepEd. in the STI, HIV and AIDS program.

3.1.3. The workplace education package on STI, HIV and AIDS shall be based on the information, education, and communication (IEC) and reference materials developed and/or endorsed by the PNAC Education Committee, and shall be used to intensify the information and education drive on HIV and AIDS within the Department. The module may be revised to suit the Department's needs.

3.1.4. The HNC, with technical assistance from the Philippine National AIDS Council, shall be responsible for providing specialized training on STI, HIV and AIDS to employees of the Central Office and the regional and division offices of the Department
nationwide. The training shall include information on a referral mechanism that shall be developed to assist any DepEd employee living with HIV and AIDS.

3.1.5. All program implementers (e.g. health personnel, training officers, educators, trainers, personnel or human resource officers, administrative officers, etc.) shall continuously receive education and training on STI, HIV and AIDS.

3.2 Social Policy

The HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Policy and Program shall include:

3.2.1. Non-discriminatory Policy and Practices

3.2.1.1. The Department shall not use the HIV status - be it actual, perceived, or suspected - of an applicant or a DepEd employee as a basis for hiring, promotion, or assignment.

3.2.1.2. The Department shall not use an employee's actual, perceived or suspected HIV status as the basis for termination from work.

3.2.2. Confidentiality
Unless otherwise provided by law, the DepEd policy on the confidentiality of the HIV status of individuals shall strictly comply with the provisions of Sections 18 and 30 of R.A. No. 8504, as follows:

Section 18. Anonymous HIV Testing. The State shall provide a mechanism for anonymous HIV testing and shall guarantee anonymity and medical confidentiality in the conduct of such tests.

Section 30. Medical Confidentiality'. Al ihealth professionals, medical instructors, workers, employers, recruitment agencies, insurance companies, data encoders, and other custodians of any medical record, file, data, or test results are directed to strictly observe confidentiality in the handling of all medical information, particularly the identity and status of persons with HIV.

3.2.3. Work Accommodations and Arrangements
The Department shall adopt reasonable work accommodation measures to support its personnel with HIV and AIDS through flexible leave arrangements. rescheduling of working time, and arrangements for return to work.
3.3. Diagnosis, Treatment and Referral for other services

3.3.1. The Department shall provide access to preventive, diagnostic, and treatment services for HIV and AIDS to minimize the risk of HIV infection through a referral mechanism for personnel to access the services of the nearest social hygiene clinics, and/or private and government health service providers, and positive community/HIV support groups.

3.3.2. Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) and Provider-Initiated Confidential Counseling and Testing (PICOT) for HIV

3.3.2.1. Compulsory HIV testing as a precondition to employment, and/or provision of any kind of service, is unlawful.

3.3.2.1.1. The Department shall encourage positive health-seeking behavior which shall include VCT, PICOT, and leading a healthy lifestyle.

3.3.2.1.2. The Department shall adopt the referral procedure for people living with HIV as prescribed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Department of Health (DSWD-DOH).

4.  ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

4.1. Department Responsibilities

4.1.1. The Department shall implement, monitor, evaluate, and fund its HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Policy and Program.

4.1.2. The Department shall address all aspects of the implementation of HIV and AIDS prevention and control in its own policy and program for halting the spread of the disease.

4.1.3. The Department shall ensure that its policy and program on HIV and AIDS is made known to all its personnel.

4.1.4. The Department shall ensure that its HIV and AIDS policy and program adheres to existing laws and official guidelines, including the provision of leaves. benefits, and insurance.

4.1.5. The Department shall observe and maintain utmost confidentiality of all information and records pertaining to the HIV and AIDS status of its personnel, in accordance with pertinent provisions under R.A. No. 8504.

4.1.6. The Department shall not require disclosure of the HIV and AIDS status of its personnel.

4.1.7 The Department shall ensure non-discriminatory practices and non-stigmatizing attitudes toward HIV-positive individuals in the workplace.

4.1.8  The Department shall continue to improve its HIV and AIDS program by networking with the Philippine National AIDS Council, other government offices, health care providers, and civil society organizations promoting STI, HIV and AIDS prevention, care, support, treatment, and control.

4.2. Responsibilities of DepEd Personnel

Every DepEd personnel are to abide by and support the Department's Policy and Program on HIV and AIDS.

4.2.1. DepEd personnel shall not practice discriminatory acts against their co-workers who may have actual, perceived, or suspected HIV infection.

4.2.2. DepEd personnel shall, at all times, respect the right to privacy of persons who may have actual, perceived, or suspected HIV infection.

4.2.3. DepEd personnel living with HIV and AIDS may be encouraged to inform management and/or their health care provider, such as a Department physician, of their HIV and AIDS status if their work activities heighten the risk of their colleagues' for HIV infection and transmission or put the HIV-positive personnel at risk for aggravation.

4.2.4. DepEd personnel are enjoined to share correct information on prevention and control of STI, HIV and AIDS with their respective families and communities.

5.  IMPLEMENTATION AND MONITORING

5.1 Employee Information. Education And Advocacy

5.1.1. The Department shall integrate basic information on STI, HIV and AIDS and their prevention and control in the orientation activities/programs for newly hired DepEd personnel.

5.1.2. The Department shall ensure continuous information and education on STI, HIV and AIDS and promote active participation in STI, HIV and AIDS awareness and advocacy activities.

5.2 MONITORING

5.2.1 The Undersecretary for Legal and Legislative Affairs, as the representative of the Department in the Philippine National AIDS Council shall monitor implementation of the HIV and AIDS Policy and Program.

5.2.2 An I annual report on the status of the implementation of the Department's Policy and Program on HIV and AIDS shall be submitted by the Department through the HNC to the Civil Service Commission, with a copy furnished to the PNAC Secretariat Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Unit, no later than January 15 of the following year.

6.  FUNDING

6.1 Funding for HIV and AIDS programs may be sourced from the Gender and Development (GAD) budget, pursuant to CSC Announcement No. 21, s. 2010, which considers HIV and AIDS awareness a gender concern in economic and social development programs. Programs/ activities/ projects for the aforementioned purpose to be sourced from GAD budgets shall be included in CAD's respective Annual Plan and Budget of the Department following the guidelines provided in the DBM, NEDA, and NCRFW Joint Circular No. 2004-1 dated 5 April 2004 and the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Magna Carta of Women (MCW).

6.2 Programs, activities and projects to be undertaken by the HNC for the implementation of the DepEd HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Policy and Program will be funded from the budget allocated to the School-Based HIV and AIDS Education Program.

7.  VIOLATIONS

Policy and Program violations shall be subject to the pertinent provisions of R.A. No. 8504.

8.  EFFECTIVITY 

These guidelines shall take effect immediately.
 

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"DepEd Guidelines for the HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Policy and Program in the Workplace" was written by Mary under the Philippine Government category. It has been read 29858 times and generated 0 comments. The article was created on and updated on 05 June 2012.
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