MMDA hopes for MMFF’s return to theaters this year

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 26) — After going digital for the first time in 2020 due to the pandemic, Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entries may be shown in theaters this year if the COVID-19 situation continues to improve, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said on Tuesday.

“If the downtrend of COVID-19 cases continues, expect the cinemas to open in increased capacity,” MMDA general manager Romando Artes told CNN Philippines’ New Day.

"We are hoping that the situation will improve and that the MMFF will be shown exclusively on cinemas," he added.

The release of the MMFF entries will be on the second week of November, the MMDA official said.

Metro Manila is under Alert Level 3 for the second half of October. Under this status, cinemas are allowed to reopen at 30% capacity to fully vaccinated individuals only.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire earlier said she sees a “very high” possibility that the capital region will shift to Alert Level 2 should infections and coronavirus-related hospitalizations continue to drop.

As restrictions ease and Christmas holidays near, expect heavy traffic, Artes said.

He noted that the number of vehicles reaches around 450,000 to 500,000 a day in Metro Manila during the Christmas rush. The current daily average is 398,000.

To help ease traffic congestion during the holiday season, weekday mall-wide sale may be prohibited and mall hours adjusted, according to Artes.

“New diggings on the roads” will also be disallowed starting Nov. 15, he added.