COVID-19 pandemic: Latest situation in the Philippines – June 2022

COVID-19 pandemic: Latest situation in the Philippines – June 2022


Metro Manila and other parts of the Philippines are navigating the “new normal,” with the country sustaining relatively low numbers of COVID-19 cases. But the situation continues to evolve, including the emergence of subvariants, and potential surges are not being ruled out.

How is the Philippine government addressing the health and economic crisis? What are the key developments on the global front that also impact Filipinos?

Bookmark and refresh this page for the latest news updates, features, and analysis pieces about the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines.


DOH on Cebu lifting mask mandate for open spaces: ‘Kailangang-kailangan pa rin natin’

Loreben Tuquero

Department of Health Spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire maintained that the country is not yet ready to lift its mask mandate for outdoor settings, given risks posed by the entry of subvariants, low vaccination rates in some areas of the country, and low uptake of boosters. 

During a Laging Handa briefing on Saturday, June 11, Vergeire was asked about the Cebu executive ordinance making masks optional in open spaces. “Naninindigan po ang Department of Health kasama po ng aming mga eksperto na ang face mask, ang pagsusuot ng face mask, ay kailangang-kailangan pa rin natin,” she said in response.

“This will protect us not only for COVID-19, but also for the other respiratory infections and even with monkeypox. Kailangan po lahat ng local governments, lahat tayo, iisa lang ang protocol na susundin natin,” Vergeire said. 

She said that many local government units have recommended making masks optional in outdoor settings, but experts recommended against it, given the experience of other countries that removed their mask mandate. “Atin pong ituloy muna ang pagsusuot ng face mask, dadating po tayo diyan…. We need to manage the cases muna ngayon,” she said.

‘We could’ve saved frontliners’: COA says BOI failed to distribute donated PPEs
Image from Shutterstock

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the new virus was at its deadliest, the Board of Investments (BOI) failed to distribute donated protective gear that could have saved the lives of medical frontliners, state auditors found. 

In its examination of BOI records, the Commission on Audit discovered that most of the donations from Panhua Group of China in May 2020 remained in their original unopened boxes, as of end-2021.

Read the full story here.

Philippines detects 3 more cases of Omicron BA.5

Bonz Magsambol

The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday, June 7, announced it has detected three more cases of Omicron BA.5 in the country, raising total cases of this virus type to five. 

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that two of the cases were from Calabarzon while the location of the remaining case is still being verified. 

Vergeire said that the case with unknown location is fully vaccinated, while one case from Calabarzon is unvaccinated. All of them have been tagged as recovered. 

Omicron BA.5 has been flagged by the World Health Organization because it carries “additional mutations of concern.”

Meanwhile, seven new cases of the BA.2.12.1 were also detected in the latest genome sequencing run composed of 190 samples on June 6, Vergeire said. No other details were given about the cases.

DOH bulletin: COVID-19 cases as of June 5, 2022

COVID-19 Weekly Watch: How PH can stay ahead of an Omicron surge

Sofia Tomacruz
COMMUTERS. An influx of commuters is seen at the Light Rail Transit Line 1 on March 1, 2022.

Here’s what we’re watching this week of June 5, 2022:

  • The Department of Health recently reported cases of the BA.5 Omicron subvariant in the Philippines, making it the latest of the Omicron family to be detected in the country. We look at what South Africa and Portugal could tell us about cases fueled by BA.4 and BA.5.
  • Experts, along with health authorities in the Philippines, continue to watch for whether a significant increase in cases will be seen in the coming weeks as infections slowly climb in Metro Manila.
  • Health authorities in Sweden recently recommended a fifth COVID-19 vaccine for the elderly or anyone over 65 years old, pregnant women, and people with an increased risk of severe illness. 

Read the detailed outlook here.