Vaccine card, negative COVID-19 test required for SONA attendees

Cecille Suerte Felipe - The Philippine Star
Vaccine card, negative COVID-19 test required for SONA attendees
Photo show a vaccination cards in Manila
Philstar.com / Irish Lising

MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers and government officials will have to present their completed vaccination cards and negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests before being allowed entry at the House of Representatives for President Duterte’s last State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said the Senate secretariat is coordinating with the Presidential Security Group (PSG) on health protocols to be imposed during the last SONA of the President on July 26.

“There will be a swab test before entering the House (of Representatives building). We cannot enter the House if we are not fully vaccinated, so we must bring the vaccination card. They want us to have an RT-PCR test within 24 hours as required by PSG,” Zubiri said in an interview over dwIZ.

He also noted that the Senate security will also be strict in implementing health protocols on Monday as the senators will have to attend the opening of the third session of the 18th Congress before proceeding to the House for the SONA.

“Many of our colleagues, like Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, will physically go to the Senate. I think they won’t allow other visitors so maybe everyone will just go online, because of precautions as we have many senators who are already senior citizens, they are high-risk,” he added.

Zubiri was referring to Drilon; Senate President Vicente Sotto III; and Senators Panfilo Lacson, Richard Gordon, and Cynthia Villar, who are all at least 70 years old.

Sotto said about 10 senators have indicated their intention to personally attend the SONA.

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