Recoveries from COVID-19 newsworthy too -- Cayetano

Alan Peter Cayetano

HOUSE Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano appealed to media to also report those patients who recovered from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In this time of crisis, Cayetano said, the public should be well-informed not just on the rising cases of COVID-19 but also the number of those recovering so that people will  know the effort of the government.

“We're asking media to put into context their reports. Yes, you have to report the increasing number (of cases), but if you can also report those who are recovering from the disease, the positive side…the good news, the containment and mitigation measures the government is taking,” he said.

He said health officials being interviewed should do the same.

To date, there are seven patients who have recovered  from COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Cayetano said the House of Representatives will continue working despite the enhanced community quarantine.

The House would like to help the national government in informing the public what to do and what to avoid to stop the spread of the disease,

“We will help through communications. We will be holding hearings but not the usual hearings that you watch. It will be more roundtable style, we will only have four, at most five members of Congress present, we will only have one department at a time and we will start with the Department of Health,” he said.

Cayetano said the House would strictly observe safety and anti-infection protocols like social distancing.

By next week, the House will invite some Cabinet secretaries to give updates on the anti-COVID-19 efforts being done. 

Cabinet members can only bring not more than five people. The number of media people will also be limited.\

He added that aside from following government protocols, such a setup would allow resource persons like the secretary of health to effectively communicate what he wants to tell the public about COVID-19 and the enhanced community quarantine.

The Speaker appealed to his colleagues to just send their questions to their committee chairmen so these could be communicated to Health Secretary Duque and other officials who would be asked to attend the hearings.

Cayetano said he and other House leaders would meet with administration officials and representatives of the private sector to discuss economic stimulus measures aimed at assisting affected workers and businesses.