Metro Manila local government units (LGUs) might end up imposing varying guidelines on movie watchers if and when movie houses or cinemas are allowed to reopen.
In a DZBB radio interview Sunday, Feb. 21, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos said the LGUs would be given a set of “basic” guidelines that they can follow in the interest of assuring public safety when they go to the cinema.
“Nandyan ang economic team na pangunguna po ni DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) Sec. Mon Lopez. Gagawa siguro tayo ng pinaka-basic na pwede po nilang gayahin (We have the economic team headed by DTI Sec. Mon Lopez. We might craft basic guidelines that they can copy),” Abalos said.
“Kasi may awtonomiya po ang bawat lungsod ng kalakhang Maynila. So yung basic na yun, pwede nilang bawasan at pwede nilang dagdagan sa kani-kanilang lugar (All the cities and municipalities in Metro Manila have autonomy. So those basic guidelines could be reduced or added to, when it comes to their respective areas),” he noted.
The basic guidelines would most likely include minimum health standards such as the wearing of face masks, observation of physical distancing, and the banning of food inside movie houses.
At any rate, the MMDA boss clarified that the mayors themselves would be part of the guideline-forming process, along with representatives from Department of Health.
Abalos revealed last week that the 17 mayors of the Metro Manila Council (MMC) filed a motion for reconsideration on the Inter-Agency Task Force’s (IATF) proposal to reopen cinemas–albeit in a limited capacity–in the metropolis even under the prevailing general community quarantine or GCQ.
But he also said that the MMC would follow the final decision of the IATF.