MANILA – The state-run Radio Television Malacañang (RTVM) will push through with its coverage plan for President Rodrigo Duterte’s 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA), Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said on Saturday.
Andanar made the statement after two RTVM personnel tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“With regard to the 5th State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday, July 27, 2020, our coverage will proceed as planned,” he said.
Andanar assured that the team that would be assigned to cover Duterte’s penultimate SONA had no contact with the two RTVM employees who had tested positive.
“The Radio Television-Malacañang (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,” he said.
Only RTVM will be allowed to cover the SONA inside the Batasang Pambansa Complex in Quezon City on Monday.
Based on the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, other media outfits would not be allowed inside the Batasang Pambansa to minimize the risk of the President’s exposure to Covid-19.
RTVM will provide the video of Duterte’s fifth SONA to members of the media.
Andanar said the RTVM team assigned for the SONA coverage would undergo tests.
“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,” he said.
Malacañang earlier said Duterte’s SONA would be aired live.
During Wednesday’s virtual briefing on the preparations for the SONA, RTVM executive director Demic Pabalan guaranteed that Duterte’s fifth SONA would be broadcast live and unedited. (PNA)