More restos seek DOT accreditation

TO boost the confidence of their customers amid safety concerns brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, more restaurants in Metro Manila wanted to have the Department of Tourism "seal of good housekeeping."

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said that more restaurants in Metro Manila are seeking accreditation with the DOT.

As of July 2, data from the DOT shows  there are 155 restaurants accredited by the DOT in NCR alone — almost double the 78 recorded in 2019.

“We are seeing the number of establishments applying for DOT-accreditation go up. It acts as a ‘seal of good housekeeping’ since they have to comply with stringent health and safety protocols. For restaurants, it tells customers that it is safe to dine out again,” added Puyat.

Among the Metro Manila restaurants accredited by DOT for the first time are Corazon, Crisostomo, Cocina de la Abuela, Din Tai Fung, Hawker Chan, Kam’s Roast, Manam, Myron’s, Pound, Sunnies Café, The Flying Pan, The French Baker, Tim Ho Wan, Wildflour, and 121 Restaurant.

“The accreditation with the DOT is going to help us a lot in building confidence among our customers, in addition to the promotional efforts that we have been implementing to drive in people,” said Frank Reichenbach, general manager of Marco Polo Hotel in Ortigas.

He added that he also found the accreditation process of the DOT-NCR office “seamless and well-organized.” 

The Café Pronto of the Marco Polo Hotel was one of the restaurants inspected by the DOT and Department of Trade and Industry on July 1 in the Pasig and Mandaluyong area. Among the others were Manam, Sunnies Café, and The French Baker branches in SM Megamall.

Application fees for DOT accreditation are waived until the end of the year.

“The DOT has been working with government agencies like DTI in streamlining the application processes and requirements, and providing any assistance that establishments like restaurants may need to ease into resuming business during the pandemic,” noted the tourism chief.

A team from the DOT, DTI, and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) conducts inspections in almost 200 restaurant establishments a day to check their compliance with health and safety protocols such as temperature checks, Health Declaration Forms (HDF), and proper physical distancing in the premises.

In a recent resolution, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) allowed for the gradual resumption of restaurant dine-in services in Metro Manila and other areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) at 30 percent operational capacity in a bid to partially reopen the economy.