Pasay City Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano said she supports the decision of other Metro Manila mayors to defer the reopening of movie theaters in areas under the general community quarantine (GCQ).
Rubiano said the city government is working hard to maintain their distinction as one of the cities with the lowest coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.
The mayor reacted to the earlier decision of the Inter Agency Task Force (IATF) allowing the opening of some businesses especially those accredited by the Department of Tourism like theme parks, tourist spots, including cinemas to reopen and operate.
“While we support the decision of IATF to open some tourism-related businesses to help revive our economy , however, I believe that it is not yet the perfect time for theaters to reopen,” Rubiano said.
According to the mayor, although Pasay City hosts some of the most modern and advanced theaters in the country, she cannot allow them to reopen just yet.
“Sinisikap po ng ating city government na mapanatili ang mababang kaso ng COVID-19 sa ating lungsod, subalit kung papayagan nating magbukas ang mga sinehan ay malamang na sumipa ng husto ang mga kaso at mas malaking problema po yon (The city government is trying to keep COVID-19 cases lower in our city, and if we are going to allow cinemas to reopen there will be a big possibility the case to increase and it will be a problem),” Rubiano stressed.
Rubiano also noted that cinemas are enclosed facilities with air-conditioning systems, two of the main ingredients for the virus to spread and be contracted by an uninfected person.
“Alam natin na saradong-sarado ang mga sinehan at may air condition[ing] pa, kaya mataas ang posibilidad na magkahawaan ang mga manonood lalo pa at magkakasama sila sa isang kulob ng lugar ng mahigit isang oras (We know that cinemas are enclosed with air conditioning and the possibility that all cinema goers will get infected since they are in an enclosed place for more than one hour),” Rubiano added.
The mayor suggested that cinemas be reopened after the nationwide immunization campaign is through and the vaccine will be proven effective in containing the virus.
“Makakabuti na hintayin na po munang matapos ang nationwide immunization campaign at kapag napatunayang mabisa nga ito laban sa virus ay saka natin largahan ang lahat ng negosyo kabilang ang mga sinehan (It would be better if we finish first the nationwide immunization campaign and once proven to effective to fight the virus before we allow all businesses to open including cinemas),” Rubiano said.