Marikina to suspend reopening of cinemas, arcades

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 15 2021 09:52 AM

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MANILA - Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said Monday he will issue an executive order to suspend the reopening of cinemas and game arcades in the city amid the continuing threat of the coronavirus pandemic. 

"This is a very problematic proposition. This might bring a surge in our COVID cases, not only in Marikina but in the metropolitan Manila area," he told ANC.

"I think it's very important that efficient and effective vaccination program [shall] first be implemented as a prerequisite in opening up economic activities."

Teodoro bared that mayors in the Philippine capital region were not consulted by the Inter-Agency Task Force in its decision to allow more industries to reopen or expand their operations starting Monday, Feb. 15.

"I think it's public knowledge there's no prior consultation with the IATF with the Metro Manila mayors and that's the reason why we are asking for a meeting in order to have a consensus on the matter and have a uniform approach with regards to easing up quarantine measures particularly in allowing cinemas to open," he said.

Last week, Malacañang said the task force authorized the reopening of driving schools, traditional cinemas, video and interactive game arcades, libraries, archives, museums and cultural centers, among others in areas under general community quarantine to boost the economy.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority also said Sunday that mayors in the capital region would be drafting a formal notice to oppose the government's decision.

Teodoro said the basis of his executive order would be the oversight function that the task force has provided to localities if conditions would not permit easing up of quarantine measures

He also said he could invoke the general welfare clause in the local government code.

"Meaning we could exercise incidental, appropriate and necessary authority in order to ensure public health welfare," he said. "Secondly, we can exercise local autonomy."

Teodoro raised concern that reopening of such industries could increase COVID-19 infections because of closed settings.

"Our fear here is the gains that we have attained in the previous efforts to contain COVID-19 cases can be countermanded or it will be reversed. We might find ourselves in a difficult situation than before," he said.

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In a separate interview with Teleradyo, Robinsons Movie World general manager Bomboy Lim said they were still waiting for guidelines from the government on the reopening of cinemas.

"We are excited sa pagbukas pero we will follow all IATF, government and LGU guidelines on reopening ng cinemas," he said.

Lim assured the public they would strictly implement health protocols to ensure they have a safe movie viewing experience.

Te pandemic has devastated the industry, with 38 locations of Robinsons Movie World nationwide forced to stop operations, he said.