News Release

Statement of Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar on the COVID-19 cases in PCOO

I would like to inform the public that I tested negative for COVID-19 after I underwent a test on Thursday, July 23.

However, I regret to confirm that, as of 6:00am today, a total of ten (10) of our personnel in the main office tested positive. We are relaying our hopes and prayers for their speedy recovery from the virus.

We would like to assure the family of those who have been infected by COVID-19, as well as the general public, that the PCOO is doing all the health and medical protocols prescribed by the government, especially the intensified contact tracing and testing, as part of our due diligence to prevent further transmissions among those who have been in contact with them. We are also fulfilling any assistance and support we can provide to our personnel and their families on the matter.

As office disinfection will continue to be carried out at the New Executive Building (NEB), we are extending the physical work suspension until further notice in order to ensure our personnel’s safety against the virus.

Rest assured that the delivery of essential and timely information to the Filipino public will remain unhampered and unchanged as we have adopted a work-from-home arrangement. All programs and briefings done at NEB will be undertaken remotely and/or virtually.

With regard to the 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday, July 27, 2020, our coverage will proceed as planned. The Radio Television-Malacanang (RTVM) will continue on their coverage plan with the deployment of a different team that is not among those who have been in contact with its two COVID-19 positive personnel. Precautionary measures, such as testing, will be conducted for the SONA assigned team in order to ensure the safety of President Duterte and the rest of the audience at the Batasang Pambansa.

Although this instance is an evident impediment for the PCOO and RTVM, we will continue to carry on in fulfilling our mandate to the Filipino people as we continue to ensure our personnel’s safety towards beating COVID-19 and healing as one nation.