âNot acceptableâ: DOT warns quarantine hotels of penalties if used for leisure
This file photo shows a hotel room.
Pixabay/David Lee

‘Not acceptable’: DOT warns quarantine hotels of penalties if used for leisure

Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - December 31, 2020 - 9:10am

MANILA, Philippines — Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat on Monday reminded the Department of Tourism-accredited hotels used as quarantine hotels to refrain from accepting guests for leisure purposes.

The tourism chief cautioned the quarantine hotels after the DOT received reports that some have admitted guests for staycation purposes.

Quarantine hotels are not allowed to take in guests for staycation purposes and are prohibited from operating their ancillary establishments such as spas, bars and gym, among others.

Puyat appealed to the owners and operators of the accommodation establishments (AEs) to be more vigilant about the quarantine protocols.

“This is not acceptable and should not be tolerated. Our guidelines explicitly prohibit the use of quarantine hotels for staycation purposes and vice-versa,” Puyat said.

“We all are hard at work setting the environment to restore businesses and bring back job and livelihood opportunities to benefit our people who rely on tourism,” she added.

The DOT said first-time offenders will be meted stern warning and/or a penalty of not less than P1,000 but not more than P10,000 based on the gravity of the offense.

On the other hand, second-time violators will face three months to one-year suspension and/or a fine of P10,000.00 but not more than P20,000.00 based on the gravity of the offense.

Third-time offenders could have their accreditation revoked or canceled and/or meted a fine P20,000.00 but not more than P100,000.00 based on the gravity of the offense.

These hotels were already sent a written reminder to comply with the guidelines.

Hotels found to have violated the guidelines, on the other hand, were issued a notice to explain.

By virtue of DOT Administrative Order (AO) 2020-002 since May, the DOT has issued s issued Certificates of Authority to Operate (CAO) as quarantine facilities for stranded tourists and essential workers to selected hotels in Metro Manila.

The DOT AO 2020-002-C was later amended allowing guests to include returning overseas Filipinos and overseas Filipino workers.

Other international airports in the country were permitted to open and AEs located near those ports of entry were allowed to operate as quarantine hotels.

In September, the DOT issued AO 2020-006-A allowing four- to five-star rated DOT-accredited AEs in the National Capital Region to operate as staycation hotels provided they have Certificates of Authority to Operate as Staycation hotels (CAOS). AEs outside the NCR with at least three-star rating were also allowed to operate.

The agency accredited five more hotels in October.

Puyat once again urged the DOT-accredited AEs to strictly follow the rules and regulations allowed in their assigned operation.

“Let us not be remiss in our obligations as service provider. We will weather this crisis and welcome the time when normalcy return,” the tourism chief said.

“We owe our guests’ and workers’ safety to your continued cooperation,” she added.

As of December 17, only 15 AEs in NCR have been issued CAOS. These are the following: Grand Hyatt Hotel, Makati Shangri-La Hotel, Okada Manila Hotel, Shangri-La at the Fort, Nobu Hotel, Joy Nostalg Hotel and Suites Manila, EDSA Shangri-La Manila, Solaire Resort, Hyatt Regency City of Dreams, Nuwa Hotel City of Dreams, The Peninsula Manila, Aruga by Rockwell, Sheraton Manila Hotel, Hilton Manila and Hotel Okura Manila.

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