EOC asks Cebu City mayor not to allow reopening of cinemas yet

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - CDN Digital | October 07,2020 - 07:03 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is appealing to Mayor Edgardo Labella not to allow the reopening of cinemas yet as there is still a high risk for community transmission of coronavirus disease in closed areas.

Councilor Joel Garganera expressed his disapproval with the request of some cinema operators to open at 50 percent capacity some movie houses in the city.

“We’re now enjoying a little success and we should not risk things,” Garganera, the EOC czar, said.

The councilor said he understands the plea of the business sector, but the goal of the city is to fine-tune measures first before allowing these kinds of the establishment like movie houses to reopen.

Opening them now may only cause another risk factor for the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the city especially since movie houses are not well ventilated.

Unless these risk is addressed, the city government must not hasten opening the cinemas to the public yet.

Outdoor theaters instead

Instead, Garganera suggests outdoor theaters and drive-through cinemas instead of the indoor ones. This is currently practiced in Manila and some provinces in Luzon, and can be done in Cebu City as well.

“In New York, they have the outdoor theaters. We can have that instead,” he added.

Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella met with the mall owners and cinema operators on Wednesday, October 7, 2020, to discuss their proposals for the possibility of reopening cinemas, especially with how they plan to uphold health protocols.

According to the Interagency Task Force (IATF) guidelines, cinemas can open up to 50 percent in MGCQ areas.

Read: Cebu City gov’t eyes reopening of cinemas

Labella said he is not inclined to allow the cinemas to open, but since businesses are asking for it and are willing to cooperate with the health protocols, the city government is willing to listen to their appeal.

“They should be compliant with the health protocols, wearing of masks, social distancing, and disinfection. There should be regular cleaning process,” said the mayor.

The initial meeting with the mall owners resulted to the agreement between the city government and the cinema operators that they should submit a proposal first before the city would allow the reopening of the cinemas.

Once the proposal is submitted to the city, checked by the Emergency Operations Center and Cebu City Health, Labella said he will issue an Executive Order for the reopening.

/bmjo

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TAGS: Cebu City, cinemas, entertainment, Labella, leisure, MGCQ, Movies, reopening

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