City gov't to open 'Makati Friendship Suites' to public

Mike Frialde - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Makati City government on Friday said it would be opening the controversial "Makati Friendship Suites" in Barangay Cembo to the public.

In a statement, Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay said he has approved and signed the implementing rules and regulations of City Ordinance No. 2013-018 passed by the Makati City Council last March.

The ordinance authorizes the city government to open the said facility to the public for an introductory, uniform fee of P2,100 per day for all room types.

Makati City Administrator Eleno Mendoza said Makati residents and city employees are entitled to a 10 percent discount, while senior citizens and PWDs will be given a 20 percent discount. All they need to present is a valid identification card such as digitized SSS ID card, GSIS e-card, passport, senior citizen’s card and PWD card, TIN, among others.

Mendoza said previously, the Friendship Suites catered to senior citizens from the provinces who requested for free lodging during short trips to Metro Manila, delegates from local government units, including barangays, and international organizations during benchmarking, knowledge sharing, and cultural and study visits with the city government of Makati. It has also been a frequent venue of meetings, seminars and workshops of the city government.

Initially, the city government acquired the property from the Home Guaranty Corporation to develop it into a relocation site for informal settlers in Makati. However, it was subsequently deemed impractical and unnecessary after the acquisition of the city’s relocation sites in Calauan, Laguna and San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.

Unlike a tenement-type housing that could only offer limited living space, the two off-site relocation projects offer relocated families the opportunity to grow and prosper within a livable community with complete basic amenities and sustainable livelihood.

The Friendship Suites consists of three five-storey buildings of the BLISS housing project that were renovated and refurbished after being bought by the city government. These are now Tower I (Building 28), Tower II (Building 29) and Tower III (Building 30).

The hotel has four executive suites for six persons, 12 superior suites for six persons, and 29 family suites for seven persons. Aside from the uniform daily rate of P2,100, an additional P700 will be charged in excess of three guests per suite, while minors below seven years old are exempt from payment.

Based on the guidelines, 30 out of the 45 suites of the hotel will be open to the public for reservation at an introductory flat rate of P2,100 per day. The remaining 15 will be reserved for the city’s official guests. Of the seven conference rooms in Tower III, one can accommodate 50 to 60 persons, while the rest can accommodate 20 participants. The function rooms, equipped with sound systems, projectors, tables and chairs, are all charged also at P2,100 per day.

Reservations can be arranged provided payment is given within 48 hours. Booking and any other concerns can be addressed to the booking officer by calling (02) 882-7025.

Mendoza said the rates may be adjusted early next year depending on the recommendation of the City Treasurer, General Services Department, and Internal Management Control Office. The new rates will become effective 15 days after the publication of an ordinance authorizing such rate adjustments in a newspaper of local circulation.

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV earlier said the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee investigating the alleged overpricing in the construction of the Makati City Hall Building II would also look into five other government buildings in the city.

Trillanes said the subcommittee would look into the alleged bid rigging and overpricing in the construction of the Makati Science High School building, Makati Nursing Building, Makati City Hall I, Ospital ng Makati, and the Friendship Suites.

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