No Laging Handa briefing for a week because of coronavirus cases in PTV

The daily government Laging Handa coronavirus briefings will be suspended for a week because of new virus cases in state-run People's Television (PTV) Network.

This was confirmed Saturday, August 1, by Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Undersecretary Rocky Ignacio.

"No Laging Handa this week. PTV will advise no later than August 17," said Ignacio.

Laging Handa is aired from the PTV base in Quezon City, hosted by Ignacio and PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar where they bring in government officials every day for different issues related to pandemic and quarantine concerns.

"Because of the network's new COVID-19 cases, we have decided to be proactive in doing a total disinfection of our headquarter offices and facilities in Quezon City and have asked majority of our employees to work from home," PTV said in a statement.

Ignacio said that although PTV will scale back on programming, it will continue to air hourly news breaks and the 6 pm news.

The other briefings will also continue as usual, such as those from Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and the occasional nation address by President Rodrigo Duterte which are aired from Malacañang in Manila.

There will also be no interruption with the Department of Health (DOH) daily briefing, also aired from the DOH headquarters in Manila.

PTV said "most of our broadcast operations personnel will also be undergoing RT-PCR tests this week."

"Regular programming will resume not later than August 17," said PTV.

The Philippines on Saturday hit a record upsurge in new coronavirus cases for the 3rd straight day, bringing its total cases past 98,000. The 4,963 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Saturday constitute the biggest single-day increase so far. –

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email or tweet @lianbuan.