Philippines' film studios suspend production due to COVID-19

Heidi Hsia

16 Mar – Several film studios in the Philippines announced that they are halting production of their new movies in response to the pandemic.

As reported on Rappler, screenwriter Roselle Monteverde - who is also daughter of Regal producer Lily Monteverde, shared the Memorandum Order for the Audio-Visual Industry on the State of Public Health Emergency with COVID-19 released by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP).

She wrote, "On behalf of Regal, sadly, we need to postpone all scheduled shootings from March 15 until situation permits or until community quarantine ends or gets lifted. Stay safe everyone."

ABS-CBN film arms also posted its own statement on social media, which read, "In the light of the growing concerns on COVID-19 and in adherence to the health measures and community quarantine guidelines, ABS-CBN Films (Star Cinema, Black Sheep, Cinebro and Cinema Originals) has temporarily suspended all movie shootings."

"The welfare of our staff, artists, their families and the general public is our foremost concern," the statement added.

Similar notice was also posted by Reality Entertainment, adding, "Let's continue to be informed and use every day healthy habits to limit our exposure to illness."

Among films that are currently in production or would begin filming this year include the Angelica Panganiban and Coco Martin starrer, "Love Or Money", and Jerrold Tarog's superhero film, "Darna".

(Photo Source: Film Development Council of the Philippines Facebook)