The paper contributed to the literature of COVID-19 in the Philippines by conducting an interdisciplinary study on the discourse of the Department of Health during the early phase of the pandemic in the country. The frame of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), the process of Human Language Technology (HLT), and the concept of Crisis Management (CM) were used in analyzing the press conferences and virtual pressers. There were 56 videos selected from 30 January to 30 May 2020 using the technique of Browsing, Linking, Shortlisting, and Focusing (BLSF). The results of the study showed that: (1) Filipino language was the medium of messaging at the height of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ); (2) spectrogram images revealed a monotonic voice, which was criticized in social media; (3) theme of positivity was prevalent in describing the responses of government during a crisis; (4) discourse strategies like excessive usage of inclusive pronoun [natin], retracting the official statement, downplaying the significant COVID-related updates, and blaming the ordinary citizens were utilized to handle the deficiencies of government in managing the early phase of the pandemic. For further studies, the paper can be extended with a larger dataset.


COVID-19, Critical Discourse Analysis, Human Language Technology, Crisis Management, Philippines

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Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

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Jan Baetens
Faculty of Arts
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Belgium)

Joel David
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Inha University (South Korea)

Michael Denning
Professor of American Studies and English
Department of English
Yale University (US)

Faculty of Cultural Sciences
Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)

Regenia Gagnier
Professor of English
University of Exeter (UK)

Leela Gandhi
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Brown University (US)

Inderpal Grewal
Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
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Yale University (US)

Peter Horn
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University of Cape Town (South Africa)
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University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Anette Horn
Professor of German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

David Lloyd
Distinguished Professor of English
University of California, Riverside (US)

Bienvenido Lumbera
National Artist for Literature
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University of the Philippines

Rajeev S. Patke
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Professor of Humanities
Yale NUS College (Singapore)

Vicente L. Rafael
Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History
University of Washington (US)

Vaidehi Ramanathan
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Davis (US)

Temario Rivera
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Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines

E. San Juan, Jr.
Philippines Studies Center (US)

Neferti X.M. Tadiar
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Barnard College (US)
Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University (US)

Antony Tatlow
Honorary Professor of Drama
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)