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Solon is for immunity first before entertainment

IT is better to postpone the opening of cinemas around the country until herd immunity to the novel coronavirus is achieved.

Quezon City Rep. Precious Hipolito Castelo urged the

Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) against Covid-19 to study the reopening of theaters first.

In a separate statement, 1PACMAN Rep. Eric Pineda stressed the need for vaccination before allowing all business establishments to reopen.

According to Castelo, the risk of allowing movie houses to reopen is too great for our people, especially considering that there are now some highly transmissible Covid-19 mutations like the so-called UK and South African variants.

Earlier, the government has decided to allow cinemas and other amusement centers to resume operations but postponed their reopening to next month. Many mayors in Metro Manila are opposed to the decision.

Castelo said the IATF should listen to health experts who, like theMetro Manila mayors, are against the reopening of cinemas and amusement centers which children, the youth and older people patronize.

“The experts say that because of the threat of Covid-19 spreading, the public should continue to avoid enclosed spaces like movie houses, where the risk is greater because moviegoers stay inside for hours,” she said.

She said one infected patron munching on popcorn or sneezing may infect those around him, even if they wear masks and practice physical distancing, she said.

The House leader pointed out that if the vaccination task force led by ex-general Carlito Galvez is able to vaccinate 60 percent to 70 percent of Filipinos this year as it has promised, cinemas and similar amusement centers could be reopened next year.

“Until then, let us postpone the reopening of these business establishments. A life saved is worth more than the gain to be derived from allowing these businesses to reopen,” she stressed.

For his part, Pineda, chairman of the House committee on labor and employment, said the government should expedite the procurement of vaccines so that Filipino workers will be shielded from the coronavirus disease.

“Naiintidihan natin ang kagustuhan n gating mag kababayan na magtrabaho na. Bagamat marami pa rin ang natatakot, nagtitiis na lang para kumita. Ang solusyon talaga is mag roll out na agad ng vaccine,” Pineda said in a weekly media forum Ugnayan sa Batasan.

The committee reported that around 400,000 informal workers have lost jobs during the pandemic. These are those working as street vendors, in the public transport and others.