Metro Manila mayors defer cinema reopening
Workers disinfect the seats of a cinema as they prepare to welcome movie-lovers at a mall in Taytay, Rizal on Oct. 14, 2020.
The STAR/Miguel de Guzman

Metro Manila mayors defer cinema reopening

(Philstar.com) - February 15, 2021 - 9:19am

MANILA, Philippines — The reopening of cinemas in the capital region will be postponed as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage, the chair of the Metro Manila Council said Monday.

Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez said Metro Manila mayors opposed the decision of the government’s pandemic response task force to allow the reopening of cinemas and other select establishments in areas under general community quarantine.

He said the local chief executives in the capital region decided to defer the implementation until they formally meet on Wednesday.

“The sentiment of all the mayors, we have apprehension on the reopening of cinemas… We would defer the implementation of the opening of cinemas,” Olivarez said on CNN Philippines’ New Day.

He said the mayors had a discussion about the matter with Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and presidential spokesperson Harry Roque. Olivarez also said they intend to seek an appeal of the decision to reopen cinemas.

Olivarez said they are worried to reopen movie theaters, citing risk of the virus spreading in airconditioned and enclosed spaces.

Last week, Roque announced that cinemas, driving schools, video and interactive game arcades, libraries, archives, museums, cultural centers, meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions and limited social events of establishments accredited by the Department of Tourism are allowed to operate again in areas under GCQ.

“Our economy needs to open further as our countrymen need to find additional livelihood,” Roque said.

The Philippines has the second-worst coronavirus outbreak in Southeast Asia following Indonesia, with nearly 550,000 cases and over 11,000 deaths. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: April 20, 2021 - 7:53pm

Follow this thread for updates on COVID-19 risk levels, safety measures, and data from Metro Manila's local government units.

Photo: The STAR/Michael Varcas

April 20, 2021 - 7:53pm

The Department of Tourism supports the construction of temporary hospitals and pandemic-related facilities in tourism sites, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat says Tuesday.

"The DOT is gratified and honored to be able to use its parks and public spaces in support of the national pandemic response," she says.

She made the comment at the groundbreaking for a Mega Field Hospital at the Burnham Green in Rizal Park in Manila.

April 18, 2021 - 9:26am

St. Luke's Medical Center hospitals in Taguig and in Quezon City are at full capacity for COVID-19 patients, SLMC says Sunday morning.

It says that aside from the COVID-19 wards and ICU units being full, there are also "several critical patients in waiting at the Emergency Room."

SLMC says those who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and who are in need of immediate treatment should consider other healthcare institutions for now. 

March 29, 2021 - 7:40am

Former president and Manila mayor Joseph "Erap" Estrada has tested positive for COVID-19.

Estrada's son, former senator JV Ejercito on Monday morning tweeted that his father was rushed to the hospital.

"Please pray for all those who are likewise fighting this virus," Ejercito says.

March 28, 2021 - 3:25pm

Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center in Tondo is at full capacity for COVID-19 patients, Manila's Public Information Office announces.

The hopsital's COVID-19 ward and isolation rooms are already at 124.44% capacity while suspected COVID-19 cases are also waiting for swab test results.

The hospital will limit admission of COVID-19 patients but the emergency room will remain open.

March 25, 2021 - 8:38am

The COVID-19 reproduction rate in Metro Manila dropped to 1.91 as of March 24 but it is too early to tell if this is the start of a downward trend in the region, OCTA research says.

The average of new COVID-19 cases in the capital region was at 3,804 per day over the past week, which is a 61% increase from the previous week.

"The daily attack rate in NCR increased to 27.2 per 100,000, which puts the region in the high risk classification," the report read.

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