Taguig City Mayor Lino Edgardo Cayetano on Thursday encouraged people to go back to watching movies as cinemas in the city resume operations after more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Let us return to what Filipinos love. This will also enable us to help the economy and improve mental health,” said Cayetano in a statement.
On Wednesday, Cayetano joined Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Benjamin Abalos Jr. and Ayala executives during the first screening at the Bonifacio High Street Cinemas in Central Square in Bonifacio Global City, marking the resumption of operation of some cinemas in Taguig since the pandemic hit in 2020.
The cinemas were not the only ones hardly hit by the pandemic but the local film industry as a whole as less films are being produced.
Cayetano said going back to the cinema will increase the confidence of producers and other stakeholders in the industry’s future.
To ensure the safety of moviegoers, the Taguig Safe City Task Force issued safety seals to cinemas that have undergone inspection, with 26 cinemas set to reopen in various malls in the city such as SM Aura, Central Square, Venice Grand Canal Mall, Market! Market!, Uptown Mall, and Vista Mall.
Based on the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), cinemas and movie houses will be allowed a maximum of 50 percent indoor capacity for fully vaccinated adults and minors even if unvaccinated, and a 70 percent capacity for outdoor areas during Alert Level 2.
The cinemas’ management is required to follow the guidelines set by the IATF and the Taguig Safe City Task Force to ensure that the health of individuals is not compromised.
The resumption of operations of cinemas is part of the safe and slowly reopening of the economy after 20 months of lockdown because of the pandemic with the assurance that all safety health protocols are reinforced in every establishment.
“I am sure that this will boost people’s morale as the pandemic has taken away this kind of source of happiness. But I want to remind everyone that as we enjoy watching in the cinemas, we still have to follow the guidelines and health protocols mandated by the City,” Cayetano said.