A day after posting an appeal to the IATF to consider reopening local cinemas again last February 12, Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) chairman Liza Dino-Seguerra announced that local cinemas will officially be reopening on February 15, Monday.
In her Facebook post last February 13, Liza shared that they have been lobbying for the appeal since last year which has led to the decision to reopen cinemas to moviegoers again this week.
She wrote, “FDCP is currently in touch with DTI for the release of the final protocols so we can share them with the public. DTI has advised that the guidelines presented to the IATF and the Memorandum Circular on the recategorization of cinemas from Category 4 to Category 3, which now allows cinemas to operate in GCQ areas, will be released as early as February 15.
“To support the cinema-watching experiences, the FDCP launched a program last year entitled #NOODTAYONGSINE, a social campaign to enjoin moviegoers to watch movies in cinemas SAFELY and strengthen the responsibilities of cinemas in keeping the moviegoers safe during this pandemic.
“Last year, despite the opening of cinemas in MGCQ areas, the cinemas were 90% empty. Sa muling pagbubukas ng mga sinehan; we don't just think about the cinemas' protocols to keep the venues safe—we also think about ways to build consumer confidence and educate the moviegoers on how they can watch movies SAFELY.
“Furthermore, we urge our line agencies to take this opportunity to enjoin our cinema owners to prioritize screening of Filipino Films to help our local industry recover. We lost Billions last year just in box office revenues alone. And our industry is barely recovering—Napakalaking tulong kung bibigyan ng leverage ang Filipino Films over Foreign films sa muling pagbubukas ng mga sinehan.”
Being one of the hardest-hit sectors because of the pandemic, Liza earlier shared that while the film industry welcomes new digital platforms to showcase films, cinemas are still the major revenue stream for local films, with 80% of the film sector revenue coming from cinemas.