Some 70 House of Representatives personnel test positive for COVID

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 14 2022 03:28 PM

MANILA— About 70 personnel of the House of Representatives have tested positive for COVID-19, its secretary general said, as the country faces a fresh wave of virus infections.

House of Representatives Secretary General Mark Llandro Mendoza made the disclosure 3 days before the lower chamber resumes its plenary sessions with limited physical attendance at the Batasang Pambansa.

The House is slated to resume on Monday. 

“So far ang updated, nasa 70 pero karamihan naman nasa labas yun, wala sa House. Di naman kami nagpapapasok kasi pag may nag-positive na staffer [na] pinapasok sa amin, nire-record lang namin. So far nasa 70 as of today,” Mendoza said in a phone interview.

(About 70 of them were outside the House of Representatives. We don't let them report to work, and when someone test positive for COVID-19 we just record it.)

Mendoza added that they are still observing the hybrid session set-up, which would only allow a maximum of 30 lawmakers and 20 to 25 congressional staff inside the session hall to maintain the safety of all amid the threat of COVID-19.

He also said that the congressional staff would resume their operations after an extended break. 

Only 20 percent of the staff, however, will be granted physical access to the complex and no visitors will be allowed, according to the secretary general. 

Those entering the complex, he pointed out, would have to go through antigen testing.

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Mendoza also said that the House has so far given booster shots to about 400 personnel, noting that they plan to resume the administration of booster shots in two weeks.

Almost 95 percent of the Secretariat staff are also fully vaccinated against COVID-19, he said.

The 18th Congress will be in session from Jan. 17, 2022 to Feb. 4, 2022. 

Between Feb. 5, 2022 and May 22, 2022, Congress will be on its usual break for the election campaign. It will resume May 23, 2022 - June 3, 2022 after which the 18th Congress will adjourn sine die.