PCOO’s public briefing goes off air for one week due to COVID infections

Published August 1, 2020, 7:09 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos & Leslie Ann Aquino

The program in state-run PTV-4 dedicated to informing the public of the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic will go off the air for one week. 

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) undersecretary and PTV-4 anchor Rocky Ignacio confirmed that “Public Briefing: Laging Handa PH” will go off the air for one week, as well as its other programs.

In a statement, PTV-4 said that it has decided to be “proactive in doing a total disinfection” of its headquarters and facilities in Quezon City because of the network’s new COVID-19 cases.

The programs that will air in PTV-4 during the following week are the Malacañang press briefing of presidential spokesman Harry Roque every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday at 12 p.m., the daily press briefing of the Department of Health (DOH), President Duterte’s talk to the nation that usually airs every late Monday evening, “PTV Balita Ngayon,” its hourly news breaks, and “Ulat Bayan,” its nightly newscast at 6 p.m.

“Tuloy-tuloy po ang pagbabalita (The delivery of news will continue),” she said.

Majority of its employees will work from home and most of its broadcast operations personnel will also be undergoing RT-PCR tests this week.

As part of its precautionary measures and safety policy, PTV said it will be airing only a limited number of live programs as it operates on skeleton manpower starting August 3.

“PTV will continue to provide the nation with the latest news and information through its hourly newsbreaks and its primetime newscast at 6 p.m.,” the network’s statement read.

“Regular programming will resume not later than August 17,” it furthered.

As of Saturday afternoon, the PCOO has recorded a total of 41 COVID-19 cases with three deaths in its main office and attached agencies.

PTV-4 has reported five active COVID-19 cases, one recovery, and one death.

The PCOO has reported the following COVID-19 cases as of August 1, 1:45 p.m.: PCOO Proper: 22 active cases, one death; PTV-4: Five active cases, one recovered, one death; APO Production Unit: Two active cases, one death; Radio Television Malacañang: three active cases; National Printing Office: Two active cases; Philippine Information Agency: One active, two recovered.

Meanwhile, the following PCOO-attached agencies had no reports of COVID-19 cases: Bureau of Broadcast Service, Bureau of Communication Services, IBC-13, and News and Information Bureau.

Catholic prelate positive for COVID

Another Catholic prelate has tested positive for COVID-19.

Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David on Sunday announced that his predecessor Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez tested positive for the disease.

“I announced it at Mass today so people could join us in praying for his
recovery,” he said in an interview.

David said Iñiguez is currently in a hospital under isolation.

Iñiguez, the first bishop of Caloocan, resigned at the age of 72 in 2013 before the mandated retirement age of 75.

Last July 23, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, informed priests that he tested positive for COVID-19.

The prelate said although he doesn’t feel anything, he is now in a designated area for quarantine.

“I follow the protocol that is set. I am now in a designated area for quarantine observing strict protocol as required,” said Pabillo.