House to prioritize discussion on COVID-19 relief measures

Robie de Guzman   •   May 4, 2020   •   370

MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives on Monday said it will prioritize measures seeking to address the impact of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as it resumes session amid the ongoing community quarantine in Metro Manila.

House leaders said they will focus on and fast-track the passage of bills seeking economic relief, such as the Philippine Economic Recovery Act (PERA) that will help the country’s economy bounce back from the COVID-19 crisis.

The PERA bill proposes the allocation of P700 billion to be used in restarting the economy by providing assistance to business owners.

The bill also seeks to allot P25 billion fund to procure test kits to be used in area- and office-based mass testing to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 infections.

The Lower House will also discuss the COVID-19 Unemployment Reduction Economic Stimulus bill which seeks to und a nationwide extensive job creation program, particularly in infrastructure projects.

The House of Representatives will also tackle the bill proposing to extend the validity of 2020 General Appropriations Act and other measures seeking to address the delays and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in government projects and programs.

The lower chamber also eyes discussing the House Bill 6623 or the proposed New Normal for the Workplace and Public Spaces Act of 2020 which aims to establish regulations for the “new normal” amid the coronavirus crisis.

Like the Senate, the House will also conduct plenary sessions and committee hearings via teleconferencing and other social media platforms.

On Monday’s hearing, only 25 House lawmakers were physically present while the rest attended the session from their districts through zoom video conferencing software and other applications.

The House of Representatives said it will fast-track its deliberation to pass priority measures before its sine die adjournment

Congress will convene anew in July to open the second regular session, in the morning, and in joint session for the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA). – RRD (with details from Correspondent Vincent Arboleda)

Duterte to announce new quarantine status; not sure of MGCQ for Metro Manila

Marje Pelayo   •   July 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is set to meet with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 on Wednesday evening (July 15) to discuss the next steps with regard to the implementation of community quarantine in different parts of the country. 

He is expected to decide on the new quarantine status that will take effect on Thursday, July 16. 

According to Malacañang, there was no mention in the previous IATF meeting about easing quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila.

Specifically, there was no discussion about the shifting from general community quarantine (GCQ) to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) in the National Capital Region considering the increase in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases and the full utilization of the region’s critical care capacity. 

“Hindi ko po alam dahil sa huling meeting ng IATF talagang hindi po na-discuss ang MGCQ for Metro Manila (I have no idea because in the previous IATF meeting there was no discussion about MGCQ for Metro Manila),” noted Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque. 

The Philippines has entered the fourth month since the government imposed community quarantine orders due to the outbreak of COVID-19. 

Roque assured, meanwhile, that the NCR’s hospitals have enough beds for COVID-19 patients despite the announcement of Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega that the region’s intensive care system has now reached the danger zone. 

“Ang pakiusap lang natin sa mga pasyente, makinig lang po tayo kung saan tayo dapat pumunta at huwag na tayong mag-insist (We only ask that patients listed [to authorities] where they are supposed to go and not insist [on what they want]),” Roque stressed.

“Huwag na tayong mag-worry kung puno ang isang ospital, ire-refer naman po kayo sa iba pang ospital, (Do not worry if the hospital is full because you will be accommodated in other hospitals),” he added. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

DND main office in Camp Aguinaldo on 3-day lockdown

Marje Pelayo   •   July 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The main office of the Department of National Defense (DND) in Camp Aguinaldo has been placed under lockdown after one of its personnel contracted coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In an advisory, the agency said the office premises will undergo disinfection on the duration of the lockdown. 

The agency will reopen on Friday (July 17).

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana himself earlier announced that one of the staff was tested positive for COVID-19, which prompted the official to volunteer for self-quarantine.

Based on the result of his COVID-19 released today, Lorenzana said he is negative of the disease. MNP (with details from Lea Ylagan)

Drive-thru COVID-19 testing center opens in Manila

Robie de Guzman   •   July 15, 2020

The Manila City government on Wednesday opened its own drive-thru novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing center in a bid to boost its mass testing capacity amid rising cases of infection.

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said the testing center is open to all residents and non-residents who wish to avail of the service free of charge.

The facility is open from Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Domagoso said they only need to bring a government-issued ID to get tested in the drive-thru testing facility located in front of the Andres Bonifacio Monument along P. Burgos Street.

Blood samples collected from those who were tested will then be processed by the city government’s newly-purchased serology testing machines which have a combined capacity of 89,600 tests per month.

These machines also have an accuracy rate of 99.6 percent.

However, those who will yield positive results will still have to undergo confirmatory swab testing. – RRD (details from Correspondent Vincent Arboleda)


The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel) (General inquiries)


UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.