House suspends work amid virus surge in Metro Manila

The House of Representatives ordered the suspension of work from Monday, March 22, to Wednesday, March 24, due to soaring coronavirus cases in Metro Manila.

"With the alarming rise in COVID-19 cases, particularly in the National Capital Region, the House of Representatives is declaring a SUSPENSION of work operations until Wednesday, 24 March 2021," said the memorandum signed by House Secretary General Mark Llandro Mendoza.

A skeleton workforce in the following offices will continue to work at the Batasan complex in Quezon City:

  • Office of the Secretary General
  • Finance Department
  • Engineering Department
  • Office of the Sergeant-at-Arms
  • Legislative Security Bureau

Committee hearings, which are conducted online, have not been canceled as of this posting.

The plenary session – where at least 20 lawmakers still facilitate through a broadcast from the House building – will continue on Thursday, March 25.

The suspension came just hours after the Philippines on Monday recorded 8,019 new confirmed COVID-19 cases – the Philippines' highest single-day tally so far. This brings the country's total confirmed cases to 671,792.

The House counted at least 33 active cases among its personnel as of Thursday, March 18. –

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.