By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
The International Press Center (IPC) announced that it would only be processing media applications from media workers covering the National Capital Region (NCR) due to the influx of applications two days before the deadline.
In a statement, the IPC said they have received almost 4,000 applications as of Thursday noon, making it impossible for them to process all applications from the entire mainland Luzon which is under an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
“Much that we would want to accommodate all media workers nationwide, the IPC office is presently flooded with almost 4,000 applications as of 12 noon of March 19, 2020,” News and Information Bureau (NIB) Director Virginia Arcilla-Agray said in a statement.
“Hence, only media entities covering the National Capital Region will be processed for the time being. Provincial media members, however, may later be issued exemptions if the situation in their localities warrant it,” she added.
According to Agtay, the IPC is working overtime to process all requests for media exemptions, noting that they were in the process of printing ID Numbers 280 to 1,883.
“It will not cease until all IDs have been released to all requesting media outfits in time for the March 21,12 noon deadline set by IATF-EID,” she said.
Meanwhile, Agtay assured media workers that no application for the special pass from the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases will be denied.
She, however, deferred to the recommending media outlets to take prudence in the list of personnel submitted to the IPC because of the ECQ guidelines that restrict the movement of people.
“The PCOO (Presidential Communications Operations Office) has always believed in the essential role of the media in everyone’s life especially during this time of a volatile health crisis. The Department recognizes the media’s constructive role as government partners in today’s society – from increasing public awareness to collecting views and information,” Agtay said.
The PCOO earlier announced that those providing media support who are part of the skeletal workforce will also be given the special pass to ensure the unhampered operations of media outlets.
READ MORE: Entire Luzon under quarantine