By JASON B. NEOLA
NAGA CITY — Senior citizens, including persons with disabilities, will continue to enjoy free admission in SM cinemas here following the assurance by Mayor John G. Bongat that “such privilege will be maintained with the hope of giving them comfort and ease by way of movie entertainment.”
The free admission in movie houses for the elderly and PWDs is granted thru the memorandum of agreement entered into by and between the city government of Naga and the SM Prime Holdings Inc.
Such privilege is mandated in the special free benefit clause of the city ordinance 2008-092, an ordinance institutionalizing the i-Serve program, a quality service assurance program that grants certain privileges to qualified residents thru the Naga City Privilege Card.
i-Serve, which stands for Innovative Service and Value Entitlement, is a service quality assurance project of the city government that will put into work a unified information system addresses problems in service integration, convergence and delivery.
The memo-ag works to provide additional privileges to the members of the two sectors in the form of 100 percent free admission to SM cinemas who are already enjoying the benefit of 20 percent discount on such services stipulated under RA 7432 and RA 9257 for the senior citizens and RA 7277 (otherwise known as the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons), as amended by RA 9442.
SM Public Relations Officer Tina Sumayao said the agreement clearly states that senior citizens and persons with disabilities, upon presentation of proper identification, shall be entitled to 100% free admission. Under the agreement, where ordinarily senior citizens enjoy 20% discount, the cost of the remaining 80% shall be underwritten equally between SM Cinemas and the city government.
Last Monday, Dec. 13, Mayor Bongat presented to SM City a check amounting to P71, 463.73 covering the period from July to October 2010. The memo-ag, which covers a three-year term, took effect last July 9, 2010.
Sumayao clarified that the free cinema admission for qualified beneficiaries is applicable only for regular movie screenings, and will not apply to digital theatre film showings, premiere nights, red carpet premieres, advance screenings, special screenings, and Metro Manila Film Festival.