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Free cinema for PWDs awaiting MOA 

FREE CINEMA ticket privileges for Persons with Disability (PWD) in the city only await a memorandum of agreement (MOA) signing for full implementation, Councilor Jessica Bonguyan said on Tuesday.

Bonguyan who chairs the committee on games and amusements said cinema operators in the city will convene on June 28 to discuss the MOA.

Bonguyan attributed the delay of the MOA to the local cinema operators having to coordinate with their national offices.

To recall, Ordinance 0155-23 entitled “Persons with Disability Free Movie Privilege” was approved by the 20th City Council regular session on Jan. 24, 2023, while Mayor Sebastian Duterte signed the legislation on Feb. 27, 2023.

The MOA will determine the terms of availment, as cinemas may opt to offer free cinemas on additional days of the week, despite the Ordinance stating it shall be every Monday, during the first screening.

She added four malls have expressed commitment to adapting the Ordinance including SM Lanang, SM  Davao (Ecoland),  Abreeza Malls Ayala, and Gmall Bajada.

“It is within the prerogative of the malls to adapt this as we do not have a penalty to impose them. I am happy to announce they are willing to participate,” Bonguyan said.

Once the MOA is signed, all PWDs can have free access to cinemas in the malls mentioned, provided they present their PWD IDs.

As per the Ordinance, those who falsify IDs to avail of the privilege will be penalized with P2,000 for the first offense, P3,000 for the second offense, and P5,000 for the third offense.

The City Social Welfare and Development Office will provide the IDs and the movie pass booklet they must present upon entry into cinemas.

When in doubt, cinema operators may verify the PWD ID through the CSWDO.

The ordinance stated all participating cinemas allot at least 5% of the total seating capacity and reserve comfortable seats for PWD moviegoers.

Bonguyan however said it only applies to regular movie screenings. Special cinemas such as Dolby Atmos, Imax Theaters, Director’s Club, and 3D and 4D Theaters are excluded.

Screenings for special events such as sponsored movie premiers, and pay-per-view shows are also excluded from the privilege. 

For blockbuster films, the free movie privilege can be availed on the second week to avoid overcrowding and to secure the safety of PWDs.

Vilma Daddie, PWD welfare program focal person told TIMES in a phone interview, around 22,000 PWDs in the city will benefit from the ordinance.

Bonguyan said following the discussion of MOA, the committee will meet with the CSWDO to organize the movie pass booklet to be distributed to the eligible beneficiaries.


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