Pursuant to Section 16 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 11166, which requires that public employees be provided with standardized basic information and instruction on HIV and AIDS, and in compliance with Department Order (DO) No. 107 dated 16 May 2016, which mandates the undertaking of information, education and training activities on HIV and AIDS, the Department of Justice conducted its 2021 Webinar/Symposium on HIV and AIDS on 19 November 2021. Sixty-eight (68) employees of the Department proper participated in the webinar, which was organized by the Office of Assistant Secretary Margaret V. Castillo-Padilla.
In her welcome remarks, Assistant Secretary Padilla explained the importance of webinars like this in ending the HIV pandemic in the country. She shared that apart from DO No. 107, which adopted a Workplace Policy on HIV and AIDS for the Department, her office is continuously implementing programs and projects aimed to educate employees on HIV and AIDS, including the development of onboarding kits for new hires, HIV pamphlets readily available to all employees, and other activities.
Dir. Ma. Luisa S. Orezca, Executive Director of the Philippine National AIDS Council Secretariat, and Mr. Ico Rodulfo Johnson, President of The Project Red Ribbon Care Management Foundation, Inc., were the resources speakers. Dir. Orezca talked about the medical aspect and epidemiology of HIV and AIDS as well as the highlights of RA No. 11166, among others. Mr. Johnson, on the other hand, spoke about HIV and AIDS in the workplace, stigma and discrimination, and persons living with HIV advocacy work. At the end of the symposium/webinar, an audio visual presentation highlighting the salient features of DO No. 107 was presented.
Undersecretary Deo L. Marco delivered the closing remarks. He stressed that through active collaboration and advocacy, the country can get back on track in eradicating the HIV global epidemic and have a healthier world and workplace free from stigma and discrimination in all its forms.