Senate bans guests after Cayetano, Marcos, and Villar catch COVID-19

Jauhn Villaruel, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 10 2022 05:54 PM

Senate PRIB
Senate PRIB

MANILA — The Senate on Wednesday announced it would tighten its health and security protocols starting Monday, Aug. 15, following the COVID-19 infection of 3 senators.

During Wednesday's plenary session, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said that the chamber would be on "lockdown for 3 weeks" but later clarified that only guests would be barred entry.

"For the record, papasok po tayong lahat. 'Yong exempted lang dito sa plenaryo ay 'yong may mga COVID-19, 'yong may mga sintomas, and 'yong may close contact (sa nag-positive sa virus). They will be allowed to avail of the hybrid system," Zubiri explained.

The health measure was approved in a caucus, Zubiri said.

Beginning Aug. 14, the Senate will not receive guests for 3 weeks except for resource persons, which will be limited to 3 per agency or organization. The others could participate remotely. 

Resource persons should present a negative RT-PCR test result with QR code (taken within 24 hours) or a negative antigen test result (taken within 12 hours) from any DOH-accredited facility. Self-administered antigen test results without any valid certification shall not be accepted, the Senate said.

For committee hearings, each Senator may be assisted by 2 members of his or her staff, except for the chairperson of the committee.

For session duties, the Senate will retain the 2-staff-per-senator rule.

Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Imee Marcos, and Cynthia Villar have all tested positive for COVID-19 in the recent weeks.

- With reports fro, Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News