Thursday, April 18, 2013


By: Gamson Jr Mawallil Quijano

Allaahu Akbar3x!!! 

This is indeed great news to the whole Islamic Ummah in the Philippines, we thank Allah and we praise Him. Department Of Health-Manila has finally allowed the wearing of niqaab (face veil) by Muslim workers, including but not limited to Students and Trainees in health facilities both private and public across the country.

In a DOH Department Memorandum entitled “Addendum to the DOH Department Memorandum 2009-0107-A: Strengthening the Protection of Religious Rights of Muslim Workers, including but not limited to Students and Trainees in Health Facilities, issued by ROMULO A. BUSUEGO, MD, MHA, DPBS, FPCS, PSGS, Assistant Secretary dated December 12, 2012, DOH protects and safeguards the Muslim woman’s religious right to wear the niqaab even inside the specialized areas within the hospitals.

“ In accordance to religious practice and Muslim culture, and as part of the stricter Islamic mode of dressing, Niqab (veil) a cloth covering the face except the eyes is hereby allowed to be worn inside specialized areas which require strict infectious control practices, rules and guidelines provided that, the following are adhered to: 1.) The niqab must be freshly laundered and has not worn in the streets; 2.) Apart from the niqab to be used inside specialized areas within the facility, another niqab must be used for area within the facility but outside the specialized area; 3.) If used inside the operating room, the dangling portion of the niqab must be tucked at least to the outer garment; 4.) A sterile mask or cap maybe used to cover the niqab, if deemed necessary.” –extracted from the aforesaid DOH memo.

The recent released memo was addressed to ALL UNDERSECRETARIES, ASSISTANT SECRETARIES, REGIONAL DIRECTORS OF CENTERS FOR HEATH DEVELOPMENT, CHIEF OF SPECIAL/SPECIAL RETAINED AND RATIONALIZED HOSPITALS AND PRESIDENT/EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF ATTACHED AGENCIES for their information and guidance. “Further, only a female guard or female hospital personnel may verify privately and without the presence of any male, the identity of the female Muslim.“- DOH emphasizes in said memo.

It can be noted that when several Zamboanga City hospitals disallowed  the wearing of Hijab during RLE within and among Muslima Nursing students, it became the core reason on the creation of DOH Memo and Order namely DOH MEMO No. 2009-0107 issued by DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III, MD MSc. (Re:Strengthening the Protection of Religious Rights of Muslim workers, including but not limited to students and trainees in health facilities), which was duly reiterated by DOH MEMO No. 2011-0232dated 16 August 2011 Re: Reiterating Compliance to DOH MEMO No. 2009-0107 by Nemesio T. Gako, MD, MPH, CESO II, Asst Secretary of Health, Internal Finance and Administration Technical Cluster- lobbied by IMAN President Sherjan Kalim, MD.

Also noteworthy to remember that Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) has recently allowed Muslimat Niqaabi to take PRC Licensure Examination ,despite BEING fully clad IN Niqaab, by virtue of PRC Memorandum No. 2012-02 Re: Wearing of Veils of Muslim Womens Taking Licensure Examination dated January 24, 2012 issued by Commissioner Alfredo Y. Po, OIC PRC, provided that:

1.) At the time of filing of application to take the licensure examination, the niqaabi Muslim women shall be required to have her photos taken showing the whole face with complete name tag. The photos shall be pasted on the application form, permanent examination and registration record card (PERRC) and Notice of Admission (NOA). A female application processor or issuing officer shall view the face of the applicant.

2.) During the licensure examination, inside the examination room, a female room watcher/proctor shall view the face of the niqaabi Muslim woman and compare the same with the pictures on the PERRC and NOA to ensure proper identification.

This order is applicable to all Muslimat Niqaabi across Philippines and in all courses that require taking licensure examinations in PRC.

“I currently worked in Riyadh Care Hospital, accredited by Joint Commission International (JCI), and here, you can really see many health care providers – that is -doctors, nurses, medical technologists, radio technologists, pharmacists, midwives, receptionists, and others wearing niqaab; in fact even patients admitted in Intensive Care Unit and other intensive wards wear NIQAAB. But despite of it, still, they can give a best quality health care to every patient.”- Ar-Rayyan Mawallil Quijano narrates.(MINDANAO EXAMINER)

"We are thankful that through the relentless efforts of Dr Sherjan Kalim and Ms Aleah D. Dipatuan, our fervent prayers are granted by The Most Compassionate and Beneficent ALLAH. This serves as proof which is quite a relief to our frustrations that there ARE still institutions such as the NCMF, DOH and PRC that respect as well as protect the dignity and inviolable rights of fellow human beings regardless of religious affiliation. May we continue to uphold and abide the law in consonance with and respect to the inalienable rights of all Muslim Filipinos," Warina Sushil A. Jukuy, SecGen, Hijaab-Niqaab Advocacy Network (HAN) and Coordinator, Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)-WesMin Paralegal Workers, expresses her relief apropos to the memo.

Ultimately, Allah has fulfilled His promise to the believers in the Noble Qur’an: “So do not weaken and do not grieve, and you will be superior if you are [true] believers.” Al-Qur’an Surah al-Imran 3:139.


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