COVID-19 Crisis: Unvaccinated people in France banned from public venues due to new law

Over there in France – which I personally toured a very long time ago – a new law was approved by Parliament that severely affects people who still have not been vaccinated for COVID-19, according to a news report by CBN News. This means that the unvaccinated there in France are barred from all restaurants, sports arenas, and other venues. If you wish to see comparisons with what happened here in the Philippines, click herehereherehere, and here.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the CBN News report. Some parts in boldface…

France’s parliament passed a law Sunday to discriminate against unvaccinated people, barring them from all restaurants, sports arenas, and other venues

The new measure applies to every French citizen 16 years of age and older. It requires proof of full vaccination for access to these venues, including tourist sites, trains, and airline flights. The new law also establishes tougher fines for fake vaccination passes and allows authorities to check IDs to avoid fraud

There are reports that France’s escalating campaign against unvaccinated people could eliminate the world’s number one tennis player from the upcoming French Open in May. The reigning champion Novak Djokovic was just deported from Australia and will miss the Australian Open as a result, and now France could be next.  

The Macron government says it’s trying to protect the country’s hospitals during a record number of infections caused by the highly contagious COVID-19 Omicron variant. It comes even though health officials around the world admit that vaccinated and unvaccinated people are all susceptible to Omicron.

France’s National Assembly approved the law in a 215-58 vote. President Emmanuel Macron had hoped to get the bill pushed through sooner, but it was slightly delayed by resistance from lawmakers both on the right and left, along with hundreds of proposed amendments.

Protesters across Europe have spoken out recently against the harsh measures being taken to limit the freedom of unvaccinated citizens. French media report some demonstrators in France and Italy have even started wearing yellow Stars of David to say they feel like they’re being singled out in the way the Nazis first shamed the Jews during World War II

One protestor in Italy said, “We are creating a great inequality between citizens. We will have first-class citizens, who can access public services, the theater, social life, and second-class citizens, who cannot.”

More than 91% of French adults are already fully vaccinated, and some critics have wondered if the “vaccine pass” will make much of a difference since that high level of vaccination hasn’t stopped the Omicron wave from striking France. 

As CBN News reported last week, scientists are seeing signals that COVID-19′s alarming Omicron wave may have peaked in Britain. France’s health minister Dr. Olivier Véran, who has tested positive for COVID, said French authorities were keeping a close eye on data from Britain to ascertain whether France was nearing its own peak, according to The New York Times

The French government is hoping the new pass will be effective in reducing the number of new cases that are filling up strained medical centers across the country without having to employ new lockdown restrictions. A new lockdown would be another blow to France’s economy, which is the world’s fifth-largest economy. 

It could also affect Macron’s chances for reelection in the April 10 presidential election. But Macron has embraced the targeting of what he calls “irresponsible” unvaccinated individuals. He said, “Someone irresponsible is not a citizen,” saying their rights should be revoked because he no longer considers them to be citizens of France. 

Up until now, a COVID-19 pass has been required in France to go to restaurants, movie theaters, museums, and many sites throughout the country, but unvaccinated people have been allowed in if they show a recent negative test or proof of recent recovery. Some exceptions may be made for those who have recently recovered from COVID-19.  

More than 76% of French ICU beds are occupied by virus patients, most of them unvaccinated, and some 200 people with the virus are dying every day, according to the AP. 

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you remained unvaccinated for COVID-19 until now, how are you living with the imposed limitations in your local community? Do you think that the French Parliament did enough research before passing the reported law? How do you feel about the new law of France and the current state of the unvaccinated people over there? If you are a non-resident of France, does this newest development discourage you from visiting the said country?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

Muntinlupa City extends Biz Permit Renewal to February 15, 2022 without penalties

The City Government of Muntinlupa officially extended the business permit renewal period from January 20 to February 15, 2022.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi has approved City Ordinance No. 2022-311 extending the filing and renewal of Business and Tricycle Permits up to the closing hours of February 15. The extension also covers payment of all local taxes, fees and other charges without penalty.

The Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO) requested for the extension of time of filing and renewal of permits noting the economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic to the taxpayers.

Previously, the Business Permit Renewal was scheduled from January 3-20.

Taxpayers may proceed to Muntinlupa Business Permit Renewal Hub located at Muntinlupa Sports Center, Brgy. Tunasan or opt to process their application online and via off-site channels

Strict health standards and distancing protocols are implemented in the Renewal Hub which include sterilization and disinfection of submitted documents using UV box, body temperature check, installation of alcohol sprays, and monitoring by compliance officers.

A One-Stop Shop arrangement in the Business Permit Renewal Hub has been installed in the venue for the convenience of taxpayers.

Business taxpayers can pay using Debit Cards in the Renewal Hub. Mobile ATMs and a Closed Circuit Television System are also installed across the venue. Free shuttle service is provided for clients going to and from the venue with pick-up points located at Muntinlupa City Hall Quadrangle.

Further, business owners may renew their business permit online via the Business E-payment System (BESt) which can be accessed thru Muntinlupa City official website (www.muntinlupacity.gov.ph).

Muntinlupa BEST is an online platform which allows locators to accomplish business permit applications and transactions through any internet-enabled device. Taxpayers can accomplish transactions including application for New Business Permit, Renewal of Business Permit, Application Status Inquiry, Billing and Payment, and Payment History.

Another option for business locators is an off-site channel via the Business Permit Application Self-Service (BPASS) kiosks located inside the city’s major malls.

Business permits may also be delivered by the City Government’s official courier service partner, Keridelivery Inc, to the doorstep of business owners.

Mayor Fresnedi extends his thanks to the business tax payers in doing their part for the recovery of the city and the local economy.

The list of requirements is posted in the city’s website www.muntinlupacity.gov.ph.

For inquiries, you may call BPLO Muntinlupa at 8317-9964 or email them at bplo.muntinlupa@yahoo.com.

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The above information was sourced from an official press release. Some parts were changed for this website.

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  HavenorFantasy@twitter.com as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: Private sector stakeholders urge government to allow them to use purchased vaccines as booster shots for fully vaccinated employees plus household members

According to a recent report by the Philippine News Agency (PNA), more than twenty-five private sector stakeholders urged the government to let them use purchased vaccines as booster shots for their employees who have been fully vaccinated as well as for the household members. Take note that the current growing economic recovery (related to the low daily count of new COVID-19 infections) could be derailed if the huge COVID-19 vaccine supply of the nation does not fully get used before expiration.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the PNA report. Some parts in boldface…

Some 26 groups from the private sector are appealing to the government to allow them to use the vaccines they purchased to be given as booster shots for their employees and household members.

In a joint statement Tuesday, the private sector said “vaccines are arriving faster than they can be dispensed” and the private sector cannot take the risk of having their purchased vaccines expire and go to waste.

The private sector has been active in buying coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines since last year to help the government in its vaccination efforts.

“We fully understand the need to prioritize certain sectors when vaccines are scarce, but the government has announced that its stockpile of vaccines has now reached close to 60 million and continues to increase as the vaccines are arriving faster than they can be dispensed,” the groups said.

They said the country no longer has a vaccine shortage and now has a large inventory, thus the vaccines that they have purchased could now be used as booster shots for their employees and dependents.

The private groups have also recognized that the high vaccination rate in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, and the increasing inoculation rate across the country has resulted in a dramatic decline in cases after the surge due to threats of Delta variant last August.

The boost in vaccination drive has also allowed the safe reopening of the economy.

“But studies show that Covid vaccine efficacy wanes beyond six months and without boosters, we increase the risk of another surge which could again shut down the economy,” the groups added.

The above report ended stating that the government has allowed booster shots mainly for priority groups A1 to A3, specifically the health workers, the senior citizens and the comorbid patients.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about this new development? Were you vaccinated by your employer who purchased vaccines in coordination with the national government? Do you think the national authorities will consider the message of the 26 private sector groups? Do you believe that the national authorities are capable on managing COVID-19 vaccines with regards to receiving them and distributing them while monitoring their expiration dates?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

Better than Streaming: SM Cinema is reopening nationwide!

Welcome back, fellow geeks and movie buffs! If you are present here in the Philippines and you really crave for watching movies inside the cinema, then you will be happy to know that major cinema operator SM Cinema is gradually reopening its cinemas around the nation complete with safety measures related to COVID-19 (note: SM Cinema has been certified by the Safety Seal program) and the stuff that people enjoy watching inside an SM-operated movie theater.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from SMSupermalls.com. Some parts in boldface…

A premium cinema with leather seats. (photo source – SM Cinema)

First to reopen is SM Cinema Aura Premier on November 17, Wednesday. The newly redeveloped theaters at SM Cinema North EDSAMall of Asia and Megamall will be reopening on November 24, while SM Cinema Grand Central, the newest SM Cinema branch, will be on November 26. SM Cinema FairviewSouthmall, Manila, BF Parañaque, Clark, San Lazaro, Baguio, Dasmariñas, Sta. Rosa, Sucat, Sta Mesa, and Bicutan will reopen to the public on November 30.

As one of the first establishments to acquire a Safety Seal, SM remains committed to the safety and wellbeing of their mallgoers. SM Cinema, in partnership with Hygiea Innovations and Technology, Inc, have installed MERV filters and air purifiers to ensure safe and clean cinema for everyone. A health and safety officer will be present for every screening while movie theaters will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized regularly. SM Cinema employees are fully vaccinated and will be at your service in full PPE gear.

Before you head off to the cinemas with the entire family in tow, take note of these important reminders:

  • Safety protocols will be strictly implemented within the cinemas.
  • Moviegoers, from adults to kids, must be fully vaccinated to be allowed inside the cinemas.
  • They must also wear well-fitted face masks at all times and face shields are non-mandatory and voluntary. A health declaration must be presented upon ticket purchase.
  • Temperature and symptoms will be checked upon mall entry

SM Cinema is making every step of the theatergoing experience as contactless as possible to give customers what they’re ultimately looking for these days – a safe and clean environment. Reopened SM Cinemas will have capacity restrictions to allow customers to social distance one seat apart from each other. Bringing of food inside will be prohibited for now, although drinking water will be allowed in consideration of possible emergencies and health risks. Audiences will be asked to remain in their seats during the duration of the movie, and cashless payment options will be available via GrabPay, GCash, or credit or debit card.

With a wide selection of movies genres perfect for both adults and kids, much anticipated films like Marvel Studios’ “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” “Eternals,” “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” “Resident Evil: Welcome to Racoon City,” and “No Time To Die;” are just some of the movies waiting for cinephiles at SM Cinemas!

K-Pop fans will also have “Black Pink The Movie” and Monsta X: The Dreaming to look forward to, and Pinoys can get their fill of local movies like “Encanto” and “Kunwari Mahal Kita,” which will premiere starting November 24. Plus, the Metro Manila Film Festival will run from December 25 to January 7, 2022, with more Filipino movies to enjoy!

Given how dedicated SM Supermall and SM Cinema really are when it comes quality, sanitation and efficiency, it comes to no surprise that no expense was spared to make SM Cinema branches safe and the best they could be during this time of pandemic. The cinema workforce is fully vaccinated and they have the equipment needed to sanitize the movie theaters and keep it safe for incoming moviegoers.

For the newcomers reading this, cinemas in Metro Manila officially reopened on November 10 in relation to the easing restrictions as the daily count of new COVID-19 infections nationwide fell down dramatically. With the lessening restrictions, more people are allowed to go out and more businesses were given more freedom to accommodate more customers (both indoor and outdoor depending on the locations of their respective joints). Movie theaters or cinemas are obviously part of the businesses and now is the time for them to cater to people who want to experience once again the greatness of watching movies on the big screen which is something that streaming movies or TV shows at home can never match.

There are also other advantages that cinemas have over those streaming apps such as premium seating (note: SM Cinema has the Director’s Club line that offers extraordinary cinema comfort with leather seats, in-house butler service, and an exclusive food menu for guests), technologically advanced big-screen technologies (examples: IMAX, 3D and 4D) and premium sound systems (note: Netflix, HBO Go, HBO Max, Disney+ and all other streaming apps really have nothing to offer when it comes to top-notch audio.)

For those of you who really have decided to return to cinemas for your movie viewing pleasure, remember that what you pay for will not only help the cinema operators but also contribute to the economic recovery our nation badly needs to rise from this COVID-19 crisis. The money you pay for streaming services really do not help at all.

Once again, I encourage you all to take time out to support local cinemas with your family members or your friends. The cinema viewing experience is always better than streaming!

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

If you wish to join a group of movie enthusiasts and talk about cinema, visit the Movie Fans Worldwide Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/322857711779576

Micro and small business owners can apply for government loans for 13th month pay

Christmas is gradually approaching here in the Philippines. That being said, the 13th month pay will be released to employees during the month of December, specifically before December 24. As the COVID-19 crisis brought the national economy down in 2020, its effects combined with lockdown and restrictions implemented by varied authorities (example: the surprise Metro Manila ECQ of August 2021) are still felt by economic stakeholders and lots of businesses continue to struggle to survive.

The release of the 13th month pay is indeed the next challenge for businesses to do. Fortunately for the micro and small business owners, they can come to the national government to start applying for loans with the 13th month pay in mind, according to a Philippine News Agency (PNA) report.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Philippine News Agency report. Some parts in boldface…

Micro and small enterprises that are having difficulty in giving the 13th-month pay of their employees can apply for a government loan, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in a statement on Sunday.

The Labor chief made the call as he reminded employers that the grant of 13th-month pay is mandated by law. He, however, assured establishments that are still struggling amid the reopening of the economy of the government’s support through the Small Business Corporation (SBCorp).

“Let me remind the employers that the grant of 13th-month pay is mandatory. We issued a Labor Advisory where we maintained that no exemption and no deferment will be allowed on the payment of the 13th-month pay. So, with this loan facility from SB Corporation, there is no more reason to not give the 13th-month pay,” Bello said during the ceremonial launch of the loan program with the Department of Trade and Industry and its financing arm, SBCorp on Friday.

As of Nov. 12, a total of 25 loan applications amounting to PHP5.052 million were already approved by SBCorp.

Qualified borrowers are the owners of micro and small enterprises that have implemented flexible work arrangements and registered under the DOLE Establishment Reporting System as of Oct. 15, 2021.

The loan program can cover up to 40 employees per establishment and the loanable amount is at PHP12,000 per current employee.

It is a zero-interest rate, no collateral loan that is payable in 12 months, inclusive of the three-month grace period.

“I encourage our employers, especially yung mga nahihirapan pa (hard up firms), to avail of this facility so that they can comply with the mandate to pay our workers with what is due them, especially this Christmas season,” Bello said.

The above article ended stating that micro and small business owners may apply for the loans at www.bayanihancares.ph

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Are you a micro or small business owner struggling to come up with ways to raise funds to pay the 13th month funds to your employees? Have you prepared yourselves to apply for the loans announced by the government? How hard has the lockdown and the set of restrictions been to your business operations this year?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  HavenorFantasy@twitter.com as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Better than Streaming: Let’s help the local cinema industry recover from its massive loss

It’s been two days since cinemas around Metro Manila officially reopened which is a welcome move not because I personally want to watch movies on the big screen inside the theater but because the local cinema industry will contribute to the economic recovery of our nation from this ongoing COVID-19 crisis. That being said, I urge you readers – who got fully vaccinated locally – who love watching movies to take time out to support the local cinema operators and their employees by visiting their venues, buying tickets over the counter and watch movies on the big screen while following the local health protocols (note: local cinemas have invested a lot in making their venues safe and sanitized).

Be reminded that streaming will NEVER match the grandeur and immersion of the cinema! The cinema is always better than streaming. Movie venue choices aside, local moviegoers now have the opportunities to watch A Quiet Place Part II  and the big blockbuster Dune (2021).

Going back to the topic of economic recovery, there is no doubt that the COVID-19 crisis combined with all the restrictions imposed by the local, regional and nation authorities brought down the national economy in 2020 along with all the economic sectors and the employees. All of these also translate into a major loss of tax revenue for the local governments, provincial governments and the national government.

In the case of the local cinema industry, the shutdown of cinemas since the pandemic started in March 2020 resulted a huge, collective industry loss of revenue according to a BusinessWorld report. I’m talking about many BILLIONS of Pesos lost!

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt of the BusinessWorld report. Some parts in boldface…

The cinema industry had P19 billion in foregone revenue from March 2020 to September this year, Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) Chairperson Mary Liza Diño-Seguerra said in a Teams video interview.

The loss had ballooned to P21 billion as of Oct. 11, Charmaine N. Bauzon, president of Cinema Exhibitors Association of the Philippines, told PTV News.

Local government units, which charge 10% amusement tax per movie ticket, lost P1.09 million daily from the country’s more than a thousand movie screens, according to estimates by the National Tax Research Center.

“We earned P11.5 billion yearly from the box office [before the pandemic],” Ms. Seguerra said. “We sold about 52 million tickets each year.”

Cinema operators get 50% of ticket sales, while the other half goes to producers, who then give as much as a quarter to the distributor, who’s in charge of marketing and distributing the film to the public.

Last year, cinemas in areas under a more relaxed quarantine made a measly P327,000, Ms. Seguerra said.

Take note that before the pandemic started, the local cinema industry as a whole had a work force of 300,000 employees and those who lost their jobs and income really suffered. In the City of San Juan, the Manila Bulletin reported about the reopening of local cinemas there with Mayor Francis Zamora issuing statements and leading the inspection on the venues. Posted below is an excerpt from the Manila Bulletin article.

San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora led the inspection of cinemas in the city starting with the Greenhills Promenade Cinema.

Zamora inspected the health and safety protocols of the cinema such as the disinfection process of the establishment and the procedure of buying the tickets, which can be done before entry to the cinema or online, new seating arrangements with strict physical distancing, and the guidelines of actual movie viewing under the new normal.

I know how Filipinos miss watching movies in silver screens which have been shut down for almost two years due to the pandemic, but now the long wait is over. With the approval of the IATF, we are allowing the opening of our cinemas in the city, provided that we take extra care and observe stringent protocols as we are still facing threats of COVID-19 despite the easing of restrictions to Alert Level 2,” Zamora said.

I want to personally make sure that our cinemas in San Juan will be safe for all of us, not only for the moviegoers but for the employees of these establishments as well,” he added.

During Alert Level 2, the operational capacity of several businesses has been increased to accommodate more customers. It has also eased down quarantine restrictions in various indoor establishments and recreational venues including movie houses and cinemas.

Under the Inter Agency Task Force (IATF) guidelines, cinemas can accommodate up to 50 percent of its maximum venue capacity, but only those who are fully vaccinated will be allowed entry into the cinemas.

For added insight, posted below are two news videos for your viewing…

Going back to choices of movies, be aware that opening soon locally in cinemas are Black Widow (November 17) and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (November 24). For those who prefer Philippine movies, the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) will return to cinemas next month!

Once I again, I urge you readers based in Metro Manila and in nearby provinces who got fully vaccinated to come out to support our local cinema operators and make a contribution to economic recovery as you enjoy watching on the big screen again.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Now that cinemas within Metro Manila have reopened, are you planning to revisit them and watch movies on the big screens anytime soon? Does Dune (2021) interest you a lot? When was the last time you saw a movie inside the movie theater? Do you realize that as a paying customer, what you pay helps not only movie producers and cinema operators but also their employees and the varied government units (that collect amusement taxes)?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

If you wish to join a group of movie enthusiasts and talk about cinema, visit the Movie Fans Worldwide Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/322857711779576

COVID-19 Crisis: OCTA Research favors the suggestion about not requiring moviegoers to wear face shields inside the cinemas

Here in metropolitan Manila in the Philippines, local cinemas are set to reopen on November 10, 2021 which will be a very important day for the cinema operators and their respective employees as the restrictions related to lockdown and the current COVID-19 crisis kept them closed since March 2020. For updates about Metro Manila cinemas, I encourage you to follow the Cinema Exhibitors Association of the Philippines (CEAP) Facebook page.

As the reopening of Metro Manila cinemas gets closer, it was reported by the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) that the OCTA Research group favors the suggestion that the wearing of face shields inside cinema should NOT be required as such things are not only uncomfortable but will surely make movie viewing an unpleasant experience. Take note that only fully vaccinated people (those who got vaccinated with two doses of most brands of COVID-19 vaccines) will be allowed to pay and enter cinemas (limited to 30% seating capacity) under the rules of Alert Level 3. Alert Level 3 in Metro Manila was recently extended.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Inquirer news report. Some parts in boldface…

The OCTA Research said Tuesday it supports the suggestion on not requiring the wearing of face shields in cinemas.

For OCTA Research fellow Guido David, watching movies will not be enjoyable if the audience will be required to wear face shields. He noted that removing the requirement of wearing face shields in cinemas was also brought up in a forum.

We should still wear face masks, but face shields, that’s a different topic. That can be discussed, because in fact we were in a Go Negosyo forum and they were discussing about removing the requirement for face shields in theaters because it actually makes sense. If you go to a theater, it would not be an enjoyable experience if you are wearing a face shield,” Guido told ABS-CBN News Channel’s Headstart.

Asked if he supports removing the requirement of wearing face shields in cinemas, David said: “We would support it because I think the move is to allow only vaccinated people to enter theaters.

The reopening of cinemas was earlier allowed in Metro Manila as the region shifted to Alert Level 3. However, only fully vaccinated people will be allowed in theaters with an indoor seating capacity of 30 percent.

From this point on, we will find out soon enough how the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Metro Manila Council (MMC) will react to what OCTA Research declared about face shields inside the cinemas.

Whatever their reactions will be, I urge Metro Manila readers among you my readers to support the local cinemas not simply for the sake of just supporting the cinema operators and their employees, but also to practice your freedom of choice for entertainment on the big screen!

If you want the best value for your money when returning to the cinemas starting November 10, I would suggest watching Dune (2021) in an IMAX cinema as that movie has scenes shot with IMAX cameras. The visual spectacle captured can be fully enjoyed on an IMAX screen and there is absolutely no way such greatness will be seen via streaming. In short, if you want the best Dune viewing experience, screw HBO Go, screw HBO Max, screw the pirates and go watch the film in the local IMAX cinema. For the residents of South Metro Manila reading this, the nearest IMAX cinema is inside SM Southmall in Las Piñas City. Better start making inquiries via social media now if you really want the IMAX experience.

Whatever your choice of movie or local cinema, I suggest you check out the most updated listing of movies and schedules. The cinematic viewing experience is always better than streaming. Don’t forget to check updates from CEAP.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this latest development? Are you excited to return to the local cinema to watch movies with the big screen experience once again? Do you think the MMDA and Metro Manila mayors will make new moves to hamper the cinematic experience of moviegoers or even hamper the scheduled reopening of local cinemas? When was the last time you saw a movie inside the cinema? When was the last time you saw any movie inside the IMAX cinema?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

SEGA and Microsoft in a Strategic Alliance to create New Strategic Titles for SEGA and establish a Next-Generation Development Environment

Even as the whole world continues to struggle to move on during this global COVID-19 crisis, Japanese video game business icon SEGA remained bullish and it made its biggest business announcement in a long time yesterday by declaring that it has agreed with Microsoft to engage in a strategic alliance related to game development and cloud gaming with the whole world in mind.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the official press release SEGA published on its website. Some parts in boldface…

SEGA Corporation (hereinafter referred to as “SEGA”) and Microsoft Corporation (hereinafter referred to as “Microsoft”) have agreed in principal, a strategic alliance that explores ways for SEGA to produce large-scale, global games in a next-generation development environment built on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. The alliance would form a key part of SEGA’s mid to long-term strategy, allowing the business to move forward with “Super Game”, a new initiative for developing new and innovative titles where the key focuses are “Global”, “Online”, “Community” and “IP utilization”.

With the world now more connected than ever following the widespread deployment of 5G and cloud services in recent years, consumers can more easily enjoy high-quality entertainment content at any time. Within this highly connected environment, the ecosystem surrounding the games industry continues to evolve and expand as more sophisticated tools and technologies become available. As such, video games continue to grow as a major medium for gamers globally, with access to a vast range of gaming experiences and communities becoming more diverse and attainable. This proposed alliance represents SEGA looking ahead, and by working with Microsoft to anticipate such trends as they accelerate further in future, the goal is to optimise development processes and continue to bring high-quality experiences to players using Azure cloud technologies.

Microsoft and SEGA have agreed upon the foundation for this alliance and through mutual cooperation, will look to build further technological evolutions with areas such as the network infrastructure and communication tools required for global online services being a key priority. Additionally, by shifting to a next-generation development platform, SEGA can effectively adapt to diversfying work styles and potential infrastructural changes.

Wow! The press release can be a bit challenging to understand in just one reading. To say the least, this is SEGA’s way of expressing that is modernizing itself to keep up with the times and ensure they can be flexible not only with developing their games and projects but also to be able to reach as many customers they can worldwide with the help of Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform.

While SEGA today is no longer the aggressive arcade, console, handheld and game maker it used to be, it has no intention of fading away. As a business entity, they may not be cash-rich anymore but they are rich in terms of intellectual properties that include famed game franchises like Virtua Fighter, Daytona USA, Sonic the Hedgehog and more. They can still do something new and productive with those.

While the press release does not specifically state anything about Xbox, it still confirms SEGA’s business partnership with Microsoft goes to a much higher level with the future in mind. Even without any mention of Xbox and its related services in SEGA’s press release, I would not be surprised to see SEGA release more games – both classic and new – on the Xbox platforms as well as on Xbox Game Pass (XGP) over the next few years. Also it is nice to see the Japanese corporation confirming next-generation development of games!

Take note of the big significance of SEGA releasing Phantasy Star Online 2 (PSO2) on Xbox One in 2020. PSO2 on Xbox One marked the first time the game got released outside of Japan starting with North America in April 2020 and with Europe in August 2020. Through the Xbox One and the Windows PC platform (August 2020), PSO2 further reached even more gamers worldwide.

By now, SEGA realized that to grow as a business, they will need to reach out to the many consumers worldwide who are willing to pay for their games and online services. In order to achieve that, SEGA partnered with Microsoft whose cloud computing infrastructure and cloud gaming models are so advanced, even competitor Sony partnered with the American corporation.

Think about that! Two of Japan’s major corporations partnered with Microsoft whose Xbox consoles did not sell much in Japan. Rivalries in video gaming were set aside for something much better between the corporations – business partnerships driven by advanced technologies that can help the partners achieve growth and breakthroughs with the whole world in mind. In the case of Microsoft, the new business partnership with SEGA is an opportunity for them to build up trust with other Japanese businesses who share similar interests with the company of Sonic and the company of PlayStation, as well sharing their objectives of achieving business growth and reaching out to consumers around the world.  

Going back to the SEGA-issued press release, posted below is an excerpt from comments made by SEGA Corporation President and COO Yukio Sugino. Some parts in boldface…

We are very pleased to announce today that we are considering a strategic alliance with Microsoft to help develop SEGA’s new “Super Game” initiative as well as build a next-generation game development environment. By considering a strategic partnership with Microsoft, we seek to further advance our game development so that our titles can be enjoyed by fans all over the world; in this regard, we aim to build an alliance that utilizes both SEGA’s powerful game development capabilities and Microsoft’s cutting-edge technology and development environment.

In closing this piece, posted below are Xbox-related videos for your viewing pleasure.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

COVID-19 Crisis: Safety and sanitation at local cinemas emphasized

It has been days since Alert Level 3 was officially implemented all over Metro Manila which allowed for the reopening of several businesses and allowing them to accommodate more customers as the limitations on capacity were modified. Among the businesses authorized by the to reopen were the cinemas or movie theaters although the actual reopening has yet to happen. In fact, I passed by the cinemas at a local mall I visited this past Sunday and I saw they were still closed. Take note that there were attempts to push for reopening Metro Manila cinemas (click here, here and here).

As the reopening is still pending, there is this Manila Bulletin article about local cinemas will strictly implement health protocols. To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt plus a few relevant videos about safety and reopening. Some parts in boldface…

Cinemas and movie houses in the Philippines will strictly implement health protocols when these establishments reopen soon.

The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) put Metro Manila under Alert Level 3 and allowed the reopening of cinemas with restrictions. Only fully vaccinated people will be admitted and seating capacity will be limited to 30 percent.

The actual date of reopening of cinemas is still subject to confirmation and the public is advised to wait for further announcement, according to the Cinema Exhibitors Association of the Philippines (CEAP).

Cinemas in Metro Manila have been closed for 19 months due to the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“That is the main goal right now,” said CEAP Charmaine Bauzon. “We have devoted the past 19 months of cinema closure identifying solutions and precautions based on science. We will implement these measures to confidently welcome back movie fans to cinemas and send them home safe.

Cinemas are safe spaces

Bauzon assured “the public that cinema is a safe place. In fact, LGUs [local government units] have converted some theaters into vaccination centers, and no super-spreading were ever reported, even though people waited inside for hours.

CEAP cited a recent study in Germany which concluded that cinemas are safer than almost any other indoor environment as long as safety guidelines are followed like wearing face masks, physical distancing and proper air ventilation.

The German study considered the following factors in its conclusion: People spend an average of only two hours at a cinema; people inside the cinema simply sit down and face the same direction which is known to reduce transmission risks; and people are not talking to each other during a movie, which minimizes possibility of infection.

Cinemas to strictly impose all safety protocols

According to CEAP, besides adhering to the IATF-mandated health standards, it also developed the “Sa Sine Safe Ka” protocols patterned after the “CinemaSafe” measures set by America’s National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) and endorsed by epidemiologists.

I personally support the reopening of cinemas not just because I love watching movies in them but also because cinemas and their employees can contribute a lot to the economic recovery from this COVID-19 crisis we are all living with. When it comes to viewing movies in the comfort of home, I prefer Blu-ray over streaming anytime. Still the very best way to enjoy movies in their full glory is still inside the cinema! I can never forget the day I first saw Wonder Woman (2017) in the IMAX cinema at SM Southmall which was really an immersive experience. I even replayed that same movie in another cinema which had lazy boy seats. I also saw Logan, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Avengers: Endgame, Aquaman and X-Men: Dark Phoenix on IMAX screens in different cinemas. When it comes to regular cinemas, I viewed Write About Love, Shazam!, and Joker to name some. Eventually I got to watch these movies in the comfort of home mainly on Blu-ray (which is always better than streaming) but I can confirm to you all that in my experience, the best place to view movies is still the cinema!

This iconic scene was at its grandest only in the cinema and I was fortunate to watch it on IMAX format!
The immersion of Aquaman on the big screen inside the IMAX cinema was indeed top-notch.

The good news here, as revealed in the excerpt above, is that local cinemas will exert efforts to make their venues clean and safe as their inevitable customers will be those who have been fully vaccinated. Cinema viewing will be far from normal but the latest developments related to Alert Level 3 are very welcome as it is the first step to returning to normalcy as the nation deals with community management and vaccinations for COVID-19. Above all, I urge all of you fully vaccinated people of Metro Manila and around the nation reading this – support the local cinemas! Put a stop to streaming and take the opportunities to watch movies in the movie theater because that streaming will NEVER match the grandeur and immersion of the cinema! The cinema is always better than streaming!

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Are you eager to watch a movie inside the cinema here in Metro Manila as soon as it reopens? Have you been fully vaccinated already? What upcoming movies do you hope to watch in the local movie theater? Have you been following the CEAP on social media lately? Do you think that the top officials of the Metro Manila Council (MMC) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) really care about the plight of the cinema operators and their employees?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: 288,291 fully vaccinated in Muntinlupa City

Recently MunCoVac, the team dedicated on COVID-19 vaccination under the City Government of Muntinlupa, announced that more than 288,000 individuals in the city have been fully vaccinated as they published the latest city vaccination statistics showing that over 625,000 vaccines were administered as of October 15, 2021. Check out the official image below…

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from MunCoVac’s Facebook post. Some parts in boldface…

Muntinlupa City has administered a total of 625,205 vaccines as of October 15.

88.5% of the target population of Muntinlupeños have been vaccinated with at least one dose while 74.7% have been fully vaccinated.

As always, please make your vaccination schedule a priority. It takes a lot of people, planning, and logistics to make sure you get vaccinated.

With roughly 75% of the target population fully vaccinated, things are looking promising for social and economic recovery in Muntinlupa City. The next challenge, of course, is to fully vaccinate even more people in accordance to the overall population of the city. Already a lot of minors in Muntinlupa City got registered for COVID-19 vaccines. For those of you who missed out on the news, the whole of Metro Manila is now under Alert Level 3 of quarantine control and that means a lot of businesses – including cinemas – were allowed to reopen which is key to economic recovery. Having a large number of fully vaccinated residents is key to ensuring economic recovery will happen.

Residents of Muntinlupa City who remain unregistered and unvaccinated should make a move to get registered by learning the ways to do it. Those who are prepared (with personal information available) and willing to go through online registration for the free vaccines in Muntinlupa are encouraged to click https://vaccine.muntinlupacity.gov.ph/muncovac/

Muntinlupa minors may register online through the city’s COVID-19 vaccination registration system at www.vaccine.muntinlupacity.gov.ph/muncovac and choose category “C – Rest of Population.”

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Muntinlupa City resident, what do you think about this latest local development?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673