No media will be allowed to enter the House of representatives when President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his State of the Nation Adress (SONA) on July 27, the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) announced on Monday.
"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 on July 27, 2020," PCOO said in an advisory sent to the media on Monday.
Who's going to cover the SONA?
Only the Presidential Broadcast Staff – Radio Television Malacañang (PBS-RTVM) will be permitted to cover and broadcast the SONA at the House of Representatives, or Batasang Pambansa. At most, members of the media could watch the broadcast on official RTVM and PTV channels.
"Media are advised to hook up to the live feed of PTV or the live stream of the Presidential Communications and RTVM Facebook pages and RTVM YouTube channel," PCOO said.
Earlier that day, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the President would physically present at the Batasang Pambansa amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Roque added that only 50 members of Congress would be allowed to attend physically in order to follow social distancing measures.
Rehearsals for the 2020 SONA are currently ongoing. According to Roque, Duterte would discuss the COVID-19 health crisis in his address, along with the government's plan to arrest its spread and how to recover from the pandemic's effects.