Special pass for media workers available till March 26

By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos

March 21, 2020, 9:08 am

<p>Reporters and cameramen at a Palace press briefing. <em>(File photo)</em></p>

Reporters and cameramen at a Palace press briefing. (File photo)

MANILA – The deadline for the release of the special pass for media workers exempted from the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine has been extended to March 26, the head of the International Press Center (IPC) announced on Friday.

The extension of the deadline was approved by the inter-agency task force on emerging infectious diseases, News and Information Bureau - IPC (NIB-IPC) Director Virginia Arcilla-Agtay said.

“The International Press Center would like to inform media partners requesting for home quarantine exemption that the March 21, 2020 deadline set for the release of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases’ Special Media Pass has been extended to five more days hence,” she said in a press statement.

Arcilla-Agtay said media practitioners covering updates on the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak could get their special pass until noon of March 26.

She said Cabinet Secretary and IATF-EID spokesperson Karlo Nograles would provide additional details about the release of the media workers’ special pass. 

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night placed Luzon under enhanced community quarantine, compelling all households on the island to follow strict home quarantine and limit movements to accessing basic necessities.

However, media personnel, including reporters, broadcasters, cameramen, photographers, and crew drivers covering the Covid-19 pandemic are among those exempted from the month-long community quarantine.

As of Thursday, the IPC office was flooded with almost 4,000 applications for media accreditation.

On Thursday, Arcilla-Agtay said in the meantime, the IPC would only process the special passes of media members from Metro Manila. 

She said media entities in the provinces may later be issued exemptions if the situation in their localities warrant it.

The IPC is a division of the NIB, an attached agency of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO). (PNA)