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Push through or not?

Raye Sanchez

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PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF GMA NETWORK ACTOR-POLITICIAN Alfred Vargas.

Schools have been suspended, concerts have been postponed and/or canceled and rumors of a Metro Manila lockdown is rife. Such have been the effect of COVID-19. And it is not yet done as more and more events are expected to be affected in the coming days.

Sinag Maynila and Daang Dokyu, two separate festivals slated at the end of this month, were postponed by its organizers on Tuesday, 10 March. Aside from these, another festival has been scheduled for the first time this summer, Metro Manila Summer Film Festival (MMSFF), set to happen from 11 to 21 April.

The question now looms: Is it going to push through?

Actor and politician Alfred Vargas gave his take on the issue.

“Imumungkahi po natin sa pamunuan ng MMDA at ng MMFF na pag-aralang mabuti ang pagpapatupad ng mga schedule ng Summer Festival dahil sa tumitinding banta ng COVID-19. Higit sa pagnanais nating makapagbigay ng ikalilibang na panoorin ng sambayanan, pangunahing interes natin ang seguridad sa kalusugan ng lahat ng ating manonood (We are calling on the administration of MMDA [Metropolitan Manila Developement Authority] and MMFF [Metro Manila Film Festival] to thoroughly study on the Summer [Film] Festival’s schedule in line with the threat of COVID-19. As much as we want to make everyone happy with the films, our priority is everyone’s security),” he shared in an interview with a news outlet.

Vargas stars in Tagpuan, one of the competing films in the upcoming film festival. He is also serving as the Representative of the 5th District of Quezon City.

He added, “Kung matitimbang nating hindi na malakas ang banta ng COVID-19, wala akong nakikitang dahilan para hindi ituloy ang Summer Film Festival. Pero kung lumala ito in the next few weeks, at wala pa rin mahanap na agad na solusyon para ma-contain at malunasan, baka mas mabuting ipagpaliban o i-postpone na lang muna ang paglulunsad ng Summer MMFF, hanggang makita natin na nagiging maayos na ang kabuuang sitwasyon (Once the threat of COVID-19 subsides, I see no reason to cancel the Summer Film Festival. But if it persists in the next few weeks, and no one is able to find a solution to contain the virus, I think it’s best to postpone the Summer MMFF until everything is back to normal).”

As a public servant, he also advised the public to practice proper preventive measures.

“For better personal hygiene practices, wash hands always, do not touch (your) face with hands at laging magdala ng (always bring) alcohol, wipes, tissue and masks. For better general health, mag-take ng vitamins, iwasang magpuyat (avoid staying up too late) at mag-exercise nang regular (exercise regularly),” the politician recommended.

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