Category Archives: HIV/AIDS

HIV Positive hairdresser wins labor and discrimination case against Ricky Reyes

Former Ricky Reyes employee Rene Nocos (in the middle) is flanked by Noel Quinto of Pinoy Plus Foundation (PPF) and Associated Labor Unions (ALU) policy advocacy officer and Trade Union Congress of the Philippines spokesperson Alan Tanjusay (in green polo shirt). Pinoy Plus and ALU-TUCP expressed support to Nocos and commended him for his courage to come out in the public. This photo was taken after the press conference today July 1, 2015. Photo credit to Glenda Ariate of the Associated Labor Unions.

Former Ricky Reyes employee Rene Nocos (in the middle) is flanked by Noel Quinto of Pinoy Plus Foundation (PPF) and Associated Labor Unions (ALU) policy advocacy officer and Trade Union Congress of the Philippines spokesperson Alan Tanjusay (in green polo shirt). Pinoy Plus and ALU-TUCP expressed support to Nocos and commended him for his courage to come out in the public. This photo was taken after the press conference today July 1, 2015. Photo credit to Glenda Ariate of the Associated Labor Unions.

The Philippines’ labor and management mediation-court found popular hairstylist Ricky Reyes and his business associate guilty of discrimination and unlawful termination of their employee — a 47-year old HIV positive hairdresser, the labor group Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP)announced yesterday.

Labor and management dispute mediator the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) last week ordered Reyes to reinstate and pay the back wages and benefits of their employee and complainant Renato Nocos including salary differentials, emergency cost of living allowances, mandatory 13th month pay, separation pay and attorney’s fees amounting to a total of P615,313.06.

In a 10-page decision, labor arbiter Joanne G. Hernandez-Lazo said the court found that Reyes and Moreno transferred Nocos to a branch that is about to be bankrupt immediately after learning that the complainant showed symptoms of HIV infection. After the closure of the branch, Nocos was never given any assignment.

“HIV illness is not highly contagious and it is not transmitted through touching, hugging, sneezing, coughing, eating or drinking common utensils or being around an infected person. Thus, the means by which they (Reyes et al) tried to protect their other employees and customers unduly trampled upon the rights of the complainant (Nocos),” the decision said.

Nocos filed a case of discrimination, unlawful termination, non-payment of lawful wages and benefits against Reyes and business partner Tonneth Moreno at NLRC on March 3, 2014 after he was fired on February 28, 2014. Nocos claimed he was fired by Reyes and Moreno after disclosing to them he had HIV.

Moreover, Nocos filed a separate complaint against Reyes and Moreno for not paying his Social Security System (SSS) and Philhealth insurance premiums amid being employed in the company since July 16, 2003.

“There is now a good reason for me to strive harder and get my life back, confident that justice shall reign supreme. On other hand, this victory is an encouragement for those HIV positive human beings like me who are fighting for respect and dignity. Deep in my heart, I’m praying for NLRC to dismiss any appeal. And I’m praying for enlightenment for my boss Mother Ricky,” Nocos said.

On his part, ALU national executive vice president Gerard Seno said: “Oppression like this happens because there are still a great majority in our society whose judgment calls are still guided by their ignorance about HIV and AIDS. Labor unions feel there’s a strong need to combine and connect the old and the new paradigms about HIV and AIDS in order to minimize stigma and discrimination surrounding the phenomenon.”

Nocos sought the help of the labor federation in June last year and disclose himself in public amid the risk of family and social stigma and discrimination in pursuing the case.

Check the background story from this link: http://www.yamsfiles.com/ricky-reyes-terminates-hiv-positive-hairdresser/

Ricky Reyes terminates HIV positive hairdresser

By MIRIAM TORRECAMPO & JUN I. LEGASPI

Former Ricky Reyes employee Rene Nocos (in the middle) is flanked by Noel Quinto of Pinoy Plus Foundation (PPF) and Associated Labor Unions (ALU) policy advocacy officer and Trade Union Congress of the Philippines spokesperson Alan Tanjusay (in green polo shirt). Pinoy Plus and ALU-TUCP expressed support to Nocos and commended him for his courage to come out in the public. This photo was taken after the press conference today July 1, 2015. Photo credit to Glenda Ariate of the Associated Labor Unions.

Former Ricky Reyes employee Rene Nocos (in the middle) is flanked by Noel Quinto of Pinoy Plus Foundation (PPF) and Associated Labor Unions (ALU) policy advocacy officer and Trade Union Congress of the Philippines spokesperson Alan Tanjusay (in green polo shirt). Pinoy Plus and ALU-TUCP expressed support to Nocos and commended him for his courage to come out in the public. This photo was taken after the press conference today July 1, 2015. Photo credit to Glenda Ariate of the Associated Labor Unions.

HAIRDRESSER and philanthropist Ricky Reyes is in hot water for the alleged illegal termination of an em­ployee who tested pos­itive for human immunodeficiency vi­rus (HIV).

Rene Nocos, 47, claimed he was fired by Reyes as hairdresser at the Ricky Superstyle Color Salon on Febru­ary last year after learn­ing that he has HIV. He was working with the Reyes salon since July 2003.

“I tried to avail of free outpatient HIVIAIDS Treatment or OHAT package using Phil­health, but I discovered only last year that my employer is not making any payment at all. So I confronted him (Reyes) why he is not paying my Philhealth. He (Reyes) then fired me after learning that I have HIV right there and then,” Nocos disclosed in a press conference held yesterday at the National Labor Center, TUCP-PGEA compound in Quezon City.

The beleaguered hairdresser, also known as Bambi, has filed dis­crimination, unlawful termination and non­-payment of his 13th month pay, holiday and separation pay, SSS and Philhealth premiums against Reyes and Tonette Moreno, vice president of Ricky Su­perstyle Color Salon, before the National Labor Relations Com­ mission (NLRC).

“I have committed wrong choices in the past and suffered heavi­ ly for it. My entire fam­ ily has disowned me. My friends have abandoned me. My co-workers have condemned me. Despite all these, I need my life back. But I can’t rebuild my life back because I was laid off from my job just because I have HIV.I want to put the pieces back together but my employer, Ricky Reyes, denied me of my social protection through SSS and in PhilHealth,” No­cos said with a heavy heart.

Meanwhile, Gerard Seno, executive vice president of the Associ­ated Labor Unions (ALU) is appealing to the NLRC, SSS and Phil­health to immediately act on Nocos’ case.

“The justice rendered by these institutions is very important factor in Rene’s struggle to move his life on. There is no closure and there is no new beginning for him if there is injustice. We ardently appeal to these agencies to expedite the cases Rene has filed and help him in moving away from discrimination and charting a new life,” Seno added.

Also, ALU policy advocacy officer Alan Tan­ jusay said they will re­ quest the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Ro­ salinda Baldoz for the Labor Law Compliance Officers (LLCO) to con­ duct inspection and as­ sessment of all salon outlets owned by Reyes and Moreno.

“We want the DOLE to conduct complaint as­ sessment of all Reyes’ salons in the country and make sure that all its workers are being paid with the mandated wages and benefits and check if they are paying the SSS and Philhealth of all Ricky Superstyle Color Salon workers,” Tanjusay said.

Republic Act No. 8504 or the Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998 protect indi­viduals with HIV/AIDS against discrimination in the workplace.

Nakakapanibago. It’s been years since I wrote my last article for People’s Tonight and now I had the chance to contribute again through this article. I’m sharing a by-line with a former co-worker.

The article can be found in the July 2, 2015 issue of People’s Tonight. page 5.

Information and photograph were given by TUCP spokesperson Mr. Alan Tanjusay. 

What young people should learn from Luigi – a person with HIV

Click on the link to hear Luigi’s story. You may learn something valuable from him.

LUIGI’S RADIO INTERVIEW 7-15-06


You read about Luigi (nursing student with HIV) here. Now listen to his voice as he recounts his story on the radio via DZRH. He granted the radio interview to help the government in the awareness campaign against  HIV/AIDS.

At the end of the interview, Luigi wishes that the Departments of Health and Education would incorporate not only information about HIV/AIDS in the high school curriculum, but information on other sexually transmitted infections (STIs); and communicable diseases such as tuberculosis being one of the indicators of HIV/AIDS.

I’m going to transcribe the whole interview one of these days.