MMDA, MMFF roll out vaccination program for movie industry workers
MANILA, Philippines — The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), which organizes the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), rolled out Friday its COVID-19 vaccination program for movie industry workers.
MMDA chairman Benhur Abalos said around 300,000 people from the local film industry—such as producers, cinemas, theater employees, and ticket sellers—are directly affected by the pandemic.
“However, if we include other businesses which are dependent on the movie industry, the total number of individuals affected stands at 500,000,” Abalos said in a statement.
The vaccination program is in partnership with the Movie Workers Welfare Foundation (MOWELFUND) “in recognition of the value and importance of the Filipino movie industry in the overall developmental effort for the country”, said Abalos.
“We are doing this in partnership with MOWELFUND as one of the MMFF beneficiaries, artists, different production companies, the movie press, our cinema partners and everyone who cares about the Filipino film industry that is hardly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic,” Abalos said.
The MMDA said movie industry workers are classified as economic frontliners and are included in the A4 category of the country’s vaccination priority list.
The A4 category, also known as “economic frontliners,” includes workers from the public and private sector required to be physically present in their workplaces.
The category likewise includes informal sector workers, self-employed individuals who need to work outside their homes, and individuals working in private households.
“With this vaccination, we have an extra layer of protection not only for us – but for our families and our co-workers and communities. It is an important step to help our lives return to normalcy,” Abalos said.
“We are doing this initiative as we look forward to jumpstarting the film industry and restore it to its former glory and be lively again. It is a move towards self-love, it’s an act of selflessness, responsibility and even nationalism – as we move towards herd immunity,” he added.
Abalos also expressed hopes that the government will soon allow the reopening of cinemas, as long as minimum health standards are observed and strictly followed.
MOWELFUND president Rez Cortez, meanwhile, expressed optimism that through the vaccination of actors and actresses, the show business and movie industry will transition and easily adapt to the new normal.
“As the inoculation for our entertainment industry starts, I am certain that we will thrive despite the struggles and look for innovative ways to actively promote local films and TV shows,” Cortez said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.