No social media ban for OFWs, repatriates under quarantine: DOH

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 02 2020 11:58 AM

MANILA — The Department of Health clarified Tuesday that it is not prohibiting Filipino repatriates from posting on social media while they are undergoing their required 14-day quarantine to ensure that they do not have COVID-19.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said she already asked the Bureau of Quarantine about the alleged social media rules.

A copy of the rules, which bears the logos of the DOH and the BoQ, states that “Media interview and posting in social media is not allowed. Electronic gadgets and cellphones of those who violate this will be confiscated and will be returned after the quarantine period."

“Ang Bureau of Quarantine na house rules na sinasabi na walang social media, nung tinanong ko naman sila hindi naman daw totoo iyan. So I don’t know kung saan galing 'yung papel,” Vergeire told media on Tuesday morning.

(When I asked them about the Bureau of Quarantine house rules banning social media, they said it wasn’t true. So I don’t know where that paper came from.)

“Nakita ko rin 'yan sa isang Viber post na nakalagay na parang bawal ang social media posts, bawal magpainterview. Siguro 'yung interview pa kasi paano naman din ayaw lang natin na magkakaroon tayo ng miscommunication,” she added.

(I saw that in Viber post that social media posts and interviews are not allowed. Perhaps the interview part is true because we don’t want any miscommunications.)

“Pero 'yung social media post I doubt it. Hindi talaga. Nung tinanong ko sila, it’s not part of their protocol. Baka lang miscommunication,” she said.

(But for the social media post, I doubt it. It’s not true. When I asked them, they said it’s not part of their protocol. Maybe it’s just a miscommunication.)

An ABS-CBN News report on April 14 also featured the said house rules as some overseas Filipino workers complained of the unhygienic conditions at their quarantine hotel.

Tens of thousands of overseas Filipino workers and Filipino citizens were repatriated in the last 3 months as the world grappled with the spread of COVID-19. Repatriates are required to undergo quarantine at home or at a facility to curb the further spread of the disease in the Philippines.

According to the DOH COVID-19 tracker website, as of June 1 there are 946 repatriates who tested positive for the disease. Only 1 died and 11 have recovered.