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DOT probes discrimination issue against Cebu resort

THE Department of Tourism (DOT) has launched an investigation of a resort in Cebu following one of its guests’ complaint that her child with special needs was subjected to discrimination.

In a statement, the DOT said it is also coordinating with the Department of Justice (DOJ) on the matter.

“The DOT has already launched an investigation into the matter, and after due notice and hearing, will mete the proper administrative sanctions to the resort,” the statement said.

It added “The DOT will also coordinate with the Department of Justice (DOJ) for its proper action under the Disability Law, under which the aggrieved party may also file the complaint.”

On Sunday, a mother of a child with special needs wrote a review on the Plantation Bay Resort and Spa in Cebu on Trip Advisor that went viral narrating the discrimination they experienced during their stay at the resort.

The mother, Mai Pages, said her six-year-old child Fin who has autism made squealing sounds when he went swimming, as he often does whenever he was excited or happy.

They were reprimanded by the lifeguards even as she tried to explain to them that her child has special needs.

The resort’s resident shareholder Manny Gonzalez in his initial response said that “uncontrolled shouting is not a symptom of autism” which drew the ire of many on social media.

He later issued an apology acknowleging he “handled this case poorly, and apologize to all the parties who felt offended by my reply.”