Malacañang said the government’s pandemic task force is set to discuss the possible reopening of cinemas in areas under the Alert Level 3, part of the new system being implemented in Metro Manila response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after the Cinema Exhibitors Association of the Philippines (CEAP) appealed to the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to allow the limited operations of cinemas under the Alert Level 4.
In his press briefing on Thursday, October 7, Roque said that the IATF will discuss the reopening of cinemas but not in areas under Alert Level 4.
“Ang alam ko po nasa agenda ‘yan mamaya ng IATF pero ang pagbubuaks po na pag-uusapan po ay Level 3, hindi Level 4 (I know it’s part of the agenda of the IATF later but the reopening that will be discussed will be in Alert Level 3, not Level 4),” he said.
Under the current guidelines for the pilot implementation of the Alert Levels System for COVID-19 response in Metro Manila, cinemas will be allowed to operate at a maximum of 50 percent venue capacity under Alert Level 2.
In February this year, the IATF allowed the reopening of traditional cinemas in areas under the general community quarantine (GCQ) but Metro Manila mayors opposed this decision in fear that it may trigger superspreader events.
In a Facebook post, the CEAP appealed to the IATF to allow the reopening of cinemas, ensuring that the industry values the health and well-being of its employees and moviegoers.
According to CEAP, the cinema industry has ensured that all employees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The group likewise said that a number of cinemas have been awarded the Safety Seal Certification by their local government units (LGUs) which affirms that they are compliant with the minimum health standards set by the government.
It added that a number of its theater managers have undergone occupational safety and health training and will continue to do so courtesy of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).