THE Velasco-Romualdez House-led leadership will allocate funding for the mass vaccination of 301 lawmakers and several thousands of secretariat and congressional staff once coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) vaccines become available.
“Mass vaccination is one of the thrust that Speaker Lord Allan Velasco wants to implement. Allocating funds for the purchase of vaccines is also one of our top priorities,” House Secretary General Mark Llandro Mendoza told the hybrid weekly Ugnayan sa Batasan Majority News Forum hosted by dzME’s Ed Sarto in response to a reporter’s query.
Mendoza, a former Batangas congressman, also said that the 98 new COVID-19 cases was an offshoot of the first mass testing held at the House of Representatives upon instruction of Speaker Lord Allan Velasco to ensure the safety of employees.
“So our 98 cases is the updated one, and this is as of November 20. That is our total number of cases,” Mendoza said.
This is on top of the previously reported 93 COVID-19 cases in the House of Representatives since the counting started under the leadership of then Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.
But he clarified that most of the new positive cases emanated from “community transmission” and not from the House of Representatives.
“Speaker Velasco initiated a mass testing because we wanted to know what the numbers really are. Previously, they conducted testing based only on symptoms. We did mass testing if only to be sure about the real situation,” Mendoza said.
Mendoza also said that the “next mass testing” will be conducted again next year before Congress resumes sessions on January 18.
“Speaker Velasco ordered the mass testing to ensure the health and safety of everyone in the Batasan Complex, while the legislative chamber carries out its constitutional duties amid the pandemic,” Mendoza said.