Media not allowed inside Batasan during SONA

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MANILA – No members of the media will be allowed inside the premises of Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City during President Rodrigo Duterte’s fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday (July 27).

In an advisory sent to reporters, the House of Representatives said only members of the Presidential Broadcast Staff-Radio Television Malacañang (PBS-RTVM) will be authorized inside the chamber’s premises to cover the SONA.

“Please be advised that as per the recommendations of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), all media are not allowed inside the premises of the House of Representatives (HRep) in Batasan Hills, Quezon City during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 27, 2020,” the advisory read.

“The Presidential Broadcast Staff-Radio Television Malacañang (PBS-RTVM) will be the only one allowed inside the HRep to cover the SONA. All broadcast-related requirements will be coursed through the RTVM,” it added.

The House advised media companies to hook up to the live feed of the People’s Television Network (PTV) or the live stream of the Presidential Communications Operations Office and RTVM Facebook pages and RTVM YouTube channel.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, President Duterte will be “physically present” at the Batasang Pambansa Complex to deliver his fifth SONA, while allowing only a limited number of 50 guests in the venue.

“The President will be physically present in Batasan pagdating po ng (for his) SONA,” he said in a virtual Palace briefing. Also, he added, “He has confirmed that he will attend unless there are supervening events”.

Roque said this year’s SONA will focus on the national government’s response to the prevailing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

“I think it will be obvious that he will be talking about Covid-19, impact on the country, and steps taken to deal with Covid-19,” he said.

Roque said Duterte will also talk about his priorities for his remaining two years in office. (PNA)

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