COVID-19 Crisis: Vaccination site at Barangay Manuyo Dos inspected ahead of planned Las Piñas City vaccination drive

Yesterday Las Piñas City Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery together with officials of the City Engineering Office conducted an ocular inspection at one of the official vaccination sites located at the Gatchalian covered court in Barangay Manuyo Dos. . Rose Bantog, head of City Engineering Office, at one of the city’s vaccination sites, at Gatchalian Covered Court in Barangay Manuyo Dos today, March 3, 2021.

Las Piñas City Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery and other officials during the inspection at the vaccination site in Barangay Manuyo Dos yesterday. (source – City of Las Piñas Facebook page)
The vaccination site at the Gatchalian covered court in Barangay Manuyo Dos. (source – City of Las Piñas Facebook page)

Rose Bantog, who leads the City Engineering office, was with the Vice Mayor. At the site were sections for registration, counseling, screening and vaccination, complete with chairs that were placed strategically for social distancing. The inspection was done to ensure that the established standards based on the vaccination plan of the City Government are properly followed before starting the upcoming vaccination drive for the people of Las Piñas.

The City Government of Las Piñas insists it is prioritizing the health, safety and welfare of its constituents, especially during this time of pandemic. The public has been reminded to continue to be careful, to maintain discipline and keep on following the local health and safety protocols.

Previously the City Government and its strategic partners conducted a simulation on how the vaccination will happen. Registration for the COVID-19 vaccine is being conducted.

For updates about the city, visit https://www.facebook.com/cityoflaspinasofficial

For the history of the city, visit https://www.laspinascity.gov.ph/about-us/6/about-las-pinas

For South Metro Manila discussions, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

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This article used details sourced from the social media post of the City Government of Las Piñas.

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: Hundreds of doses of Sinovac vaccine received in Muntinlupa City

The COVID-19 vaccination drive in Muntinlupa City kicked off yesterday with the director of Ospital ng Muntinlupa (OsMun) receiving the first dose administered.

OsMun Director Dr. Edwin Dimatatac received Sinovac’s CoronaVac, the first batch of vaccines that arrived in Muntinlupa. Dimatatac said OsMun targets to have 150 health workers to be vaccinated in the city.

The Asian Hospital and Medical Center also commenced their vaccination roll-out having AHMC Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jose Acuin as the first to receive the vaccine. In total, the city received 300 doses of Sinovac vaccine for OsMun and 300 for Asian Hospital and Medical Center from the national government.

Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi lauds OsMun for the success of the roll-out and hopes that at least 90% of the medical personnel in the public hospital will be convinced to be vaccinated.

“Right now this (Sinovac) is the best vaccine. And every day that we don’t get vaccinated we run the risk of being infected. So I encourage everyone to at least consider being vaccinated because you’re always exposed to risks. And being vaccinated you are not only protecting yourself but your family as well,” Fresnedi said.

Earlier, Fresnedi expressed his interest in getting vaccinated to boost the confidence of the public. But with the current guidelines from the Department of Health for the available brand, the local exec was advised to wait for the arrival of vaccines suited for senior citizens.

Recently, Muntinlupa City has secured 400,000 doses from British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca through a tripartite agreement with the National Task Force against COVID-19 (NTF).

Muntinlupa’s COVID-19 vaccination plan and other best practices on public health earn praise from officials of the Department of Health’s Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) Team.

As of March 2, Muntinlupa has 91 active cases, 5,644 confirmed cases with 5,378 recoveries, 175 reported deaths, 49 suspect cases, and 404 probable cases.

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The above information was provided by the City Government of Muntinlupa for the purpose of public information and transparency. Some parts were edited for this website.

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

DTI issues new memorandum for the reopening of cinemas in GCQ areas starting March 5, 2021

Do you miss watching movies in the cinemas? The COVID-19 pandemic really brought the movie theater industries around the world to a screeching halt which negatively impacted the way movies were distributed and led to the laying off of many employees who worked in the cinemas.

Here in the Philippines, movie theaters are only operating in cities or provinces which are under the state of MGCQ (Modified General Community Quarantine) which has lesser restrictions compared to GCQ (General Community Quarantine). The thing here is that Metro Manila (which is composed of multiple cities that each has its own government) is still under the GCQ level of control and as of this writing, movie theaters still have not reopened.

Just weeks ago, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) announced it will allow a variety of businesses to resume operations and among them are the cinemas. Unsurprisingly, the Metro Manila mayors reacted negatively.

That was back then. Even though President Rodrigo Duterte refused to shift the entire nation into MGCQ status, movie theater operators (and their employees) in Metro Manila and other areas still under GCQ status now have something to be happy with as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) issued a new memorandum circular allowing movie theaters in GCQ zones to reopen starting March 5, 2021.

Below is an excerpt from the news article published the other night at Philippine News Agency’s website…

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has issued Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 21-08 allowing movie houses in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) to reopen starting March 5.

The circular stipulates that cinemas in GCQ areas are only allowed to operate up to 25-percent capacity.

However, moviegoers are prohibited to eat and drink, while face masks shall be worn at all times inside the cinema.

A one-meter physical distance on all sides is also required.

“In the event of free seating, cinema staff shall usher customers to their seats to comply with the physical distancing and maximum operational capacity requirements,” the MC said.

On the other hand, cinemas in modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) areas are allowed to operate at 50-percent capacity.

As you can see in the details in the above excerpt, movie theaters in GCQ zones will be allowed to resume operations but with limitations such as 25% maximum capacity (with social distancing implemented) allowed and the prohibition on moviegoers from consuming food and beverages (this limitation will hurt the cinemas’ food and beverage business partners).

As for the requirement to wear face shields inside the cinema, it’s really a detriment because face shields obscure people’s visions and therefore moviegoers won’t be able to enjoy the visuals displayed on the big screen. 

Let’s be honest here…how many people would really want to watch films inside the movie theater without food and beverages, and having to view films with their vision negatively affected by face shields? I can only state that the DTI should reconsider these limitations soon.

It is understandable that safety measures and the health protection for the public are essential for the national authorities to do which explain the limitations for cinemas in GCQ areas. Take note from the excerpt below…

“Following the earlier agreement at the IATF (Inter Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases), DTI issued the circular that will guide the implementation of a safe and gradual reopening of more businesses and economic activities. This is part of our mandate to ensure that as more businesses reopen to provide more jobs and sources of income for our countrymen, the strict health protocols are enforced,” DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

Lopez said while the government continues to reopen more economic and business activities, minimum health measures should be strictly implemented.

The thing which we should observe here in the Philippines is how the local government leaders of GCQ areas will react to DTI’s memorandum circular. Be aware that Metro Manila alone is home to lots of movie theaters, including those with 4D and IMAX technologies. These cinemas, many of which are part of shopping malls, have not operated for almost a year now and they badly need to resume their business not just to serve paying customers but also to take care of their employees such as security guards, ushers, ticket booth operators, film projector operators, etc. Do not forget about the businesses that partnered with cinemas to sell popcorn, snacks and beverages. Right now, economic recovery and job creation are of the utmost importance during this time of pandemic.

Now that you have read this, let me ask you what do you think about this news? Is the DTI right to issue the new memorandum? If you are living in a Metro Manila city, how has your local government leaders reacted to the news? When was the last time you watched a movie inside the cinema? Have you contacted your local cinema operator?

Watch out for further updates right here.

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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: Muntinlupa City intensifies StaySafe.PH app contact tracing as COVID-19 cases rise

Recording a 40% increase in daily COVID-19 active cases, the City Government of Muntinlupa intensified its contact tracing efforts through the implementation of StaySafe.PH app.

The Muntinlupa City StaySafe.PH Task Force, through the Business Permits and Licensing Office, has conducted inspections in various malls and other establishments to ensure full compliance to the contact tracing initiatives.

Muntinlupa passed City Ordinance No. 2020-181 mandating the installation and use of Staysafe.PH system as an automated contact tracing through the use of QR Codes in all commercial establishments, workplaces, churches, and government offices in the city.

As of February 26, BPLO Muntinlupa has issued warning notices to at least 69 non-compliant establishments.

City Health Officer Dra. Teresa Tuliao said the intensified cooperation of city residents and business establishments in using StaySafe.PH as the local contact tracing system will help the government’s COVID-19 response efforts.

Tuliao noted that as of March 1, there were 94 recorded active cases in the city, a 40% increase over one week with 67 active cases last February 22.

Muntinlupa CHO urged city residents to continually use the StaySafe.PH app and follow health protocols such as wearing of face masks, observing physical distancing, and washing of hands.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued MC No.2020-129 enjoining local government units to use of StaySafe.PH v.2 application system as the official social distancing, health condition reporting, and contact tracing system that will assist in the government’s response to COVID-19.

Recently, Mayor Jaime Fresnedi led the inauguration of two-storey Cupang Health Center last March 1 in a bid to improve health services for residents living in District 2. The ceremony was organizaed in celebration of Muntinlupa’s 26th Cityhood Anniversary.

In his message, the local exec assured the public of the City Government’s recovery plan and readiness for the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines upon the delivery of supply in the city.

As of March 1, Muntinlupa has 94 active cases, 5,638 confirmed cases with 5,370 recoveries, 174 reported deaths, 37 suspect cases, and 437 probable cases.

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The above information was provided by the City Government of Muntinlupa for the purpose of public information and transparency. Some parts were edited for this website.

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

Muntinlupa City’s 26th anniversary celebrated

From a former sleepy town in the south, Muntinlupa City, now a bustling metropolis and leading business-hub in Metro Manila celebrated its 26th anniversary yesterday.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi together with other local executives led the cityhood anniversary, a special (non-working) holiday by virtue of RA No. 9191. A simple program was organized at the Muntinlupa City Hall Quadrangle starting with a thanksgiving mass and followed by the inauguration of the Cupang Health Center and simultaneous distribution of food packs in different local communities.

The anniversary celebration held at the quadrangle of Muntinlupa City Hall. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)
Mayor Jaime Fresnedi delivered his remarks. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

In his message, Fresnedi reported the city’s COVID-19 Vaccine Plan and his willingness to be inoculated to encourage the public to avail the government’s vaccination service.

“I am ready to be vaccinated, along with our City Councilors and Congressman Ruffy Biazon, upon the arrival of supply in in Muntinlupa to build the confidence of our constituents in the vaccines approved by our Food and Drug Administration,” Fresnedi said.

Muntinlupa City has secured 400,000 doses from British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca through a tripartite agreement with the National Task Force against COVID-19 (NTF). The city’s COVID-19 vaccination plan and other best practices on public health earn praise from officials of the Department of Health’s Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) Team.

The City Health Office has identified 6,758 medical frontliners from barangay health centers, emergency responders, public and private hospitals/clinics to be prioritized in the roll-out of vaccines. Under the local COVID-19 vaccination plan, there will be 82 vaccination teams to be deployed in 35 vaccination posts and 8,200 target individuals to be vaccinated per day.

The Cupang Health Center is one of the recent projects fulfilled. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

On February 26, the City Government of Muntinlupa launched “Merkado sa Muntinlupa,” an open-air market and bazaar located in Sports Complex open grounds along Laguna Lake as part of the cityhood anniversary. Merkado sa Muntinlupa is an outdoor market showcasing homegrown products and is open on weekends, every Friday 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm and every Saturday-Sunday, 8:00 am – 9:00 pm.

Further, a new park in Alabang Viaduct including the newly constructed Muntinlupa National High School Tunasan Annex Covered Court and Extension of Muntinlupa Student Center for Life Skills in Brgy. Tunasan were inaugurated last week in celebration of Muntinlupa’s anniversary.

On March 1, 1995, Muntinlupa was converted from a municipality to a highly urbanized city and became the 65th city of the Philippines by virtue of Republic Act 7926. Today, it has transformed as one of the leading investment hubs in the country with nine equally progressive barangays and a population of 504,509 (2015 Census).

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The above information was provided by the City Government of Muntinlupa for the purpose of public information and transparency. Some parts were edited for this website.

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

Step-by-step MGCQ for the Philippines?

By now, it has been made clear that the Philippines won’t shift to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) because President Rodrigo Duterte wants vaccination for COVID-19 to happen first. To put it short, health and personal safety are being prioritized although this means more waiting on the part of many people who are still unemployed and struggling without the needed income.

Yesterday, a new report published by Philippine News Agency (PNA) states that Duterte is taking a “step-by-step” approaching to the planned shift to MGCQ for the nation according to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.

Here is an excerpt from the report…

“For him (Duterte), it’s a step-by-step approach. Itong step muna before we go to the next step (We have to take this step first before we go to the next step), Nograles said in an online press briefing.

Nograles said it was “difficult” for Duterte to turn down the proposed shift to MGCQ.

However, Duterte wants to make sure that people’s health and safety would not be compromised, Nograles said.

“Again, the President and the government recognize the urgency of reopening the economy so we can resume the pre-pandemic upward trajectory and sustained growth of the economy. This, however, should be done side-by-side with measures that will ensure that we do not compromise efforts to contain Covid-19,” he said.

As seen above, the national leadership is aware of the need for economic recovery so that people suffering can be assisted by means economic opportunities. They are balancing economics with health as they are trying to find solutions and decide when to execute solutions. Shifting the whole nation to MGCQ can be done but with caution so that the risk of new infections won’t be too great.

Here is another excerpt…

The government was supposed to start its free vaccination program this month. However, there was a delay in the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines due to indemnification requirements.

Nograles said the IATF-EID would stick to the “month-to-month” assessment even if the government starts its mass immunization drive.

“If we go by the procedure, every end of the month, that is when we discuss ano ‘yung magiging recommendations namin kay Pangulo (what our recommendations to the President would be) for that succeeding month. So siguro (perhaps), in terms of timeline, perhaps that might be the same procedure that we follow,” he said.

The delayed arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines is indeed painful. Of course, people need to realize that while they can be helpful, the vaccines may not be the greatest solution to take during this pandemic. Even if a person gets vaccinated, caution must still be practiced when moving around in public.

More on the issue of shifting the entire nation to MGCQ status, I hope that the Metro Manila mayors as well as their advisers and experts would start researching how local governments and community leaders in other cities and provinces are doing under the declared MGCQ statuses in their respective areas. With Duterte’s refusal to move the nation into MGCQ, Metro Manila leaders have time to do such research.

Going back to Duterte and his cabinet, a new executive order (EO) is being prepared to institutionalize the 2021-2022 National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS) with the goal of bringing back jobs in the labor market. Here’s an excerpt from the Philippine News Agency report…

In a virtual presser, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the NERS was discussed and approved during the 52nd Cabinet meeting presided over by President Rodrigo Duterte at the Malacañan Palace on Monday night.

“Another initiative that was discussed yesterday (Monday) was the 2021-2022 National Employment Recovery Strategy or NERS…An executive order (EO) is now being readied to institutionalize the NERS task force in order to oversee all of these efforts,” he said.

Nograles said the NERS is meant to help create a policy environment that encourages the generation of more employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.

It is also expected to improve the employability and productivity of workers as it provides support to existing and emerging businesses.

“The strategic framework of the NERS is based on the following pillars — stimulating the economy and employment; supporting enterprises, jobs, and income; protecting workers in the workplace, and trusting social dialogue to encourage innovative solutions,” he said.

Watch out for more national developments here.

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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

No vaccine for COVID-19, no MGCQ for the Philippines

People here in Metro Manila who have gotten tired with the general community quarantine (GCQ) limitation during the COVID-19 pandemic will have to wait a bit longer as President Rodrigo Duterte refused to shift the entire nation to the less restrictive modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) status because the vaccination for COVID-19 should be done first.

This was announced during the Cabinet meeting last night. Below is an excerpt from the Philippine News Agency report…

“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte gave his directive to the Cabinet that the Philippines would not be placed under modified general community quarantine unless there is a rollout of vaccines,” he said in a statement.

While Duterte acknowledged the need to reopen the economy, Roque said the President refused to put people’s health and safety at risk.

“The Chief Executive recognizes the importance of reopening the economy and its impact on people’s livelihoods. However, the President gives higher premium to public health and safety,” he added.

The President made it clear that the vaccination roll-out should go first before shifting the entire nation into MGCQ control. While it is clear that reopening the economy is essential, Duterte prefers to take time to be cautious and reduce the risks of new infections. As far as he is concerned, vaccines should go first.

It has already been reported that vaccine shipments to the Philippines have been delayed. This is undoubtedly bad news for the entire nation as there are lots of people who lost their jobs and fell into poverty as restrictions severely brought the economy down. The more people fall down into poverty, the more expensive it becomes for local governments to serve them. Speaking of local governments, the City of Las Piñas made preparations for COVID-19 vaccination and already they are handling the applications of constituents who applied to register themselves. Over at Muntinlupa City, meetings and preparations for COVID-19 vaccines were done.

Going back to Metro Manila, a majority of mayors voted to have the metropolis shift to MGCQ status by March 1. As the President made the rejection and insisted vaccination should go first, business owners, their affected employees and the unemployed will have to wait longer before MGCQ will be declared not only for the National Capital Region (NCR) but for the entire nation. The MGCQ status for the Philippines is key to economic revival which the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) supports.

For those of you reading this, do you think the President made the right decision? Would you insist on declaring an MGCQ status nationwide without the COVID-19 vaccines? Please answer by commenting below. Thank you.

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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: Vaccine Registration in Las Piñas City Ongoing

In a recent notice to its constituents, the City Government of Las Piñas announced that it is collecting data for those who will be granted a free COVID-19 vaccine covering all barangays in the city.

Specifically, each family will be given profiling forms to be filled out. The steps to be followed for manual registration are as follows:

1. Make sure that all the requested details in the form are answered.

2. Submit the understood forms to your barangay / Homeowner’s Association (HOA).

3. Include one (1) 2 x2 size ID photo and photocopy of any government issued ID with address.

Registration can also be done online with the following steps:

1. Scan the QR Code or go to bit.ly/LasPiñasVaccination in your web browser.

2. Log in using your GOOGLE ACCOUNT

3. Answer the questions and make sure your details are correct.

4. Attach a scanned copy / photo of your valid ID or proof of residence.

Previously the City Government and its strategic partners conducted a simulation on how the vaccination will happen. The said simulation was attended by Mayor Imelda “Mel” Aguilar and Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery.

For updates about the city, visit https://www.facebook.com/cityoflaspinasofficial

For South Metro Manila discussions, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

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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

A chance for recovery for more Philippine cinemas (and their employees)

Wow. That was quite a ride of information updates that happened the last few days. Last Friday, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) announced that it has allowed a variety of businesses around the Philippines to resume operations so that they can recover from this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Such businesses specified were driving schools, video arcades, theme parks, natural sites, historical landmarks, parks and, most notably of all, cinemas (or movie theaters).

However, the Metro Manila mayors reacted and expressed their opposition against the national government’s decision on allowing cinemas to reopen. Through the media, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos stated that a “majority of Metro Manila mayors agreed not to open as far as cinema is concerned.”

Below is an excerpt from the Manila Times article on Abalos…

He noted that movie theaters are enclosed and air-conditioned spaces where people stay for more than 30 minutes, conditions that increase the risk of coronavirus transmission.

To put things in perspective, Metro Manila is composed of many major Philippine cities such as Makati, Quezon City, Manila and Muntinlupa to name a few. Until now, Metro Manila remains under GCQ (General Community Quarantine) status while certain other cities or provinces have been enduring the MGCQ (Modified General Community Quarantine) status. As of this writing, the only cinemas operating here in the Philippines are those located in MGCQ areas.

Here in Metro Manila, movie theaters have been closed since March 2020. Take note of that.

As a result of the Metro Manila mayors’ opposition, it has been announced that the reopening of cinemas has been moved to March 1, 2021, but that is not guaranteed. According to the news release published yesterday at Philippine News Agency, the reopening of cinemas in GCQ areas has been moved to the first of March to allow consultations with local officials, and this is the result of talks with MMDA’s Abalos, MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia and Trade Secretary Lopez.

Malacañang stated in the release: The IATF respects the position of mayors, especially those in Metro Manila. That’s why the resolution stated that the reopening of cinemas will be effective after drafting guidelines with local governments particularly when it comes to seating capacity in cinemas.

As you can see, there is still some work needed to be done before Metro Manila movie theaters (or any theaters in GCQ areas in general) can be allowed to reopen. This is why, in my view, the March 1 target for reopening could be missed.

More on the cinemas, I wonder if the Metro Manila mayors and their advisers did enough research about the economics. I understand they want to avoid the risk of people getting infected with COVID-19 within their respective cities, but there is still the need for economic recovery even if cinemas are to operate at less than 100% capacity and efficiency

From an economic point of view, thanks to information released by Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, the so-called traditional cinema industry of the nation employed 300,000 workers and had generated revenues of P13 billion BEFORE the pandemic started last year. Because of the pandemic, 2020 theater revenues shrunk down to only P1.3 billion.

Whatever happened to them as a result of the pandemic, 300,000 cinema employees is a figure that should not be ignored nor dismissed so quickly by the mayors and their advisers. Economic recovery is a must.

In an ABS-CBN news report, the cinema operators and movie producers have decided to adopt a so-called wait-and-see approach on the reopening of cinemas in GCQ areas.

Here’s an excerpt from the report:

Although they welcome the easing of quarantine restrictions, local producers and theater operators believe that ultimately, the reopening of cinemas will still be dependent on the clearance of local government units.

Roselle Monteverde and Vincent del Rosario, who helm Regal and Viva Entertainment, respectively, told ABS-CBN News that they have the capability to provide cinemas with movie material, some of which have long been canned. Nonetheless, along with other members of the local producers association, the movie magnates are still awaiting the IATF guidelines and, more important, the guidance of mayors.

And here’s another excerpt, this time about two major cinema chain operators.

Megaworld Cinemas and SM Cinemas, which both control a vast chain of theater chains, told ABS-CBN News that they will wait for the final guidelines of the IATF and local government units.

Bomboy Lim of Robinson Cinemas also told ABS-CBN News that the bottomline is securing the approval of local government units. “Priority din namin ang ligtas na panonood ng tao. Kailangan nating sundin ang lahat ng guidelines including the IATF. Right now, they are still making it.”

Robinson Cinemas, which has an estimated 200 theaters nationwide in its malls nationwide, have not reopened since March 2020.

Over at the City of Manila, the local authorities there announced it will offer free swab tests to movie theater workers within their jurisdiction. Mayor Isko Moreno said that the swab tests are required before the city government allows malls to open their movie houses. Cinema workers specified are janitors, security guards, tellers, ushers, porters, ticket sellers and snack bar attendants to name some. Managers of malls in the city were asked by the mayor to present to the city government their respective preparations for the reopening of their cinemas with public safety in mind.

As I personally observed in shopping malls with cinemas here in South Metro Manila, each of them has established rules and set up special equipment to monitor the health statuses of people entering their respective places. I can imagine local cinemas inside these malls having similar equipment, disinfectant machines, and temperature scanners. It would be helpful if the malls or cinema operators can afford to set up sanitation tunnels (like those in Israel) for moviegoers to pass thru when entering and exiting the movie theater. Watch the video below…

Even though things look unclear, the fact remains is that operators of movie theaters and their employees now have a chance to resume their business and do their part in the recovery economically and socially. How the IATF and the Metro Manila mayors will decide the fate of the cinemas remains to be seen.

If there are any major updates, you will be notified right here at www.CarloCarrasco.com

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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: Muntinlupa City Government launches Virtual Town Hall Meetings for COVID-19 Vaccine demand generation

In a bid to generate demand for vaccination services and increase vaccination uptake among residents, the City Government of Muntinlupa launched a series of COVID-19 Vaccine Virtual Town Hall Meeting with health professionals from national government agencies.

At least 100 participants from homeowners’ associations (HOAs) and urban poor groups attended the launching of Muntinlupa’s COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall Meetings in partnership with the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and Food and Drug Administration last February 10.

During the virtual meeting, RITM Infection Prevention and Control Committee Chair Charissa Borja-Tabora underscored the safety of vaccines, the process of clinical trials, and the role of vaccines in protecting individuals and communities.

FDA Center for Drugs Regulation and Research Jesusa Joyce Cirunay also discussed the agency’s Emergency Use Authorization and the stringent process and policies for the approval of vaccines.

Muntinlupa Public Information Officer Tez Navarro said the initiative is part of the local government’s campaign to enable, inform, motivate, and empower high priority groups to access the vaccination service.

Navarro hoped that the communication strategy in inviting healthcare professionals to explain information on the vaccine will help improve the immunization uptake in Muntinlupa.

“We will conduct a series of dialogue with individuals and communities to help them understand the value of vaccines so more Muntinlupeños will be convinced to be inoculated,” Navarro said.

As of February 11, the city’s COVID-19 vaccine survey showed that out of the 17,561 respondents from Muntinlupa’s nine barangays, 76% or 13,077 individuals said they are willing to get vaccinated, an increase from 63% in the last survey dated February 5.

While, a total of 4,484 respondents or 24% said they are not willing to take the vaccine. The most common reasons for the refusal to take the vaccine include fear of side effects, doubts with the efficiency rate of the vaccine, and fee of vaccination.

Further, Muntinlupa’s COVID-19 vaccination plan and other best practices on public health earned praise from officials of the Department of Health during the assessment visit of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 and Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) Team in the city last February 5.

Muntinlupa City Health Office has identified 6,758 medical frontliners from barangay health centers, emergency responders, public and private hospitals/clinics. Under the local COVID-19 vaccination plan, there will be 82 vaccination teams to be deployed in 35 vaccination posts and 8,200 target individuals to be vaccinated per day.

Muntinlupa City has 62 active cases, 5,460 confirmed cases with 5,227 recoveries, 171 reported deaths, 81 suspect cases, and 417 probable cases as of February 11, 2021.

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The above information was provided by the City Government of Muntinlupa for the purpose of public information and transparency. Some parts were edited for this website.

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