MANILA - Valenzuela City will reopen cinemas and game arcades on Friday at limited capacity and stringent regulations to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
"In Valenzuela City, you can literally count the number of cinemas. We have 6 to be exact. It's not a big number to regulate. So, we're just going to intensify regulating the cinemas," Mayor Rex Gatchalian told ANC Thursday.
While the city mayor has "reservations" on the resumption of such businesses, he said Valenzuela would follow orders from national government.
"Here in Valenzuela City, we will abide whatever the national government gives us as a directive and we'll just make sure that we work within those parameters," Gatchalian said.
Starting March 5, traditional cinemas are allowed to operate at a maximum of 25 percent in areas under general community quarantine and 50 percent for those in modified general community quarantine subject to guidelines from the Department of Health and the local government units.
Meanwhile, libraries, museums, cultural centers, meetings and conventions, limited tourist attractions and video games arcades are allowed to operate at a maximum of 50 percent in GCQ and 75 percent under MGCQ areas.
Social events are restricted to 30 percent in GCQ and 50 percent in MGCQ areas.
As an additional safeguard, Valenzuela City aims to link up its COVID-19 contact tracing system to other cities to monitor locals in case of an infection. Its QR code system has already been incorporated with those in Mandaluyong, Pasig and Antipolo.
"We'll be able to track down the movement of our people in case there's an exposure. We can manage it properly. It gives us a more expansive contact tracing database," Gatchalian said.
The mayor previously opposed the proposal made in February to reopen movie theaters and other leisure activities.
"Early on, we already said in Valenzuela City, if we could defer with this, it would be something that we would appreciate because we don't think it's the right time to open cinemas or other leisure activities like gaming arcades at the moment," Gatchalian said.