MANILA — The Makati City government on Thursday revived its free movies program for the city's elderly, with over 82,000 in the sector seen to benefit from this.
The city's program was suspended in 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, as cinemas were shut to arrest the spread of the virus.
"By reinstating this initiative, we aim to provide them with a much-needed avenue for entertainment, joy, and social engagement," Makati Mayor Abby Binay said in a statement.
Binay said senior citizens could watch movies for free in select malls such as Glorietta, Greenbelt, and Circuit Makati "three times a day for the first and second screenings."
Senior citizens, however, must be active Blu Card members and Makatizen Card holders and download their Makatizen Virtual Card QR codes.
This QR Code would be shown to the local government's cinema partners for access.
"The past years have been challenging for everyone, particularly our senior citizens who were among the most vulnerable during the health crisis," she said.
Binay said they plan to include the persons with disabilities (PWDs) under the program and tap more cinemas as their partners.
The cinema industry lost a total P21 billion in revenues in 2021 after movie screenings were suspended in 2020, the Cinema Exhibitor Association of the Philippines (CEAP) had said.
When restrictions eased later that year, cinemas were only allowed to operate at a limited capacity, and only fully-vaccinated individuals from COVID-19 were allowed to enter these.
— Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News
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