ABS-CBN CORP. announced on Wednesday that its theme park business, KidZania Manila, will permanently close starting Aug. 31.

“After five years of providing a learning experience for children, Play Innovations, Inc. has decided to cease the operations of KidZania Manila effective 31 August 2020,” ABS-CBN said in a statement.

The company had suspended the operations of KidZania, located at Park Triangle in Bonifacio Global City, due to the pandemic and the community quarantine restrictions.

ABS-CBN said the suspension had resulted in a massive impact on KidZania’s revenues.

“Even if we are allowed to operate in the future, the ‘new normal’ will prohibit mass gathering and require children to remain at home. These conditions have left us with no choice but to close the play city’s doors permanently,” it said.

ABS-CBN did not provide the number of employees who will be affected by KidZania’s closure.

“Our hearts go out to our employees. We are doing everything we can to aid them at this time of uncertainty, including paying out severance benefits as mandated by law and providing job placement programs for them. We appreciate all their hard work,” it said.

ACJ O Shopping Corp., ABS-CBN’s joint venture with South Korean media company CJ ENM Co. Ltd., will also stop operations towards the end of the year.

ABS-CBN’s partner, CJ ENM, has decided to move its business out of Southeast Asia completely.

“As a result, ACJ O has made the difficult decision to let go of its employees starting 7 August 2020,” ABS-CBN said in a recent statement.

The company said it would make further announcements regarding the selling of its goods on-air and online.

On July 15, the media company announced that it would cease the operations of some of its businesses and implement a retrenchment program starting Aug. 31.

The decision came after House of Representatives lawmakers denied the network’s application for a franchise renewal.

“As much as it hurts us to implement this retrenchment program, this is the only way to ensure the continued employment of the rest of our Kapamilya,” ABS-CBN said. — Arjay L. Balinbin