SENATE President Juan Miguel Migs Zubiri announced the lockdown of the Upper Chamber for at least three weeks due to the growing number of senators and Senate employees contracting Covid-19.
“We have members who have comorbidities. We have staff with comorbidities and according to the DOJ and Octa Research, the cases will peak in the next two weeks. So, maybe, we can give ourselves a bit of a safety net for the next three weeks, at least here in the Senate,” Zubiri said.
Senators immediately held a caucus to resolve the problem immediately. And emerging from an all-senators caucus last Aug. 10, 2022, Zubiri stated in plenary that the Senate will be implementing the following measures in addition to its existing health and safety protocols starting Monday, August 15, 2022, which are the following:
A lockdown for guests for three weeks, except for resource persons during committee hearings who will be limited to three per agency. The other could participate remotely.
Resource persons should present a negative RT_PCR test result with QR code taken within 24 hours or a negative antigen test result taken within 12 hours, from any Department of Health accredited facility. Self-administered antigen test results without any valid certification shall not be accepted.
For Committee hearings, each senator may be assisted by two members of their staff, except for the chairperson of the committee.
For session duties, the 2-staff-per-senator rule will be retained. While for the elevators, the 5-person limitation rule will be strictly implemented.
Zubiri appealed for the understanding of the general public as the Senate needed to impose stricter measures for the safety and health security of everyone in the Senate.