DEPARTMENT of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat has warned DOT-accredited hotels currently used as quarantine hotels to refrain from accepting guests for staycation purposes.
This, after reports reached the DOT about some quarantine hotels which have brazenly admitted guests for leisure purposes.
“This is not acceptable and should not be tolerated. Our guidelines explicitly prohibit the use of quarantine hotels for staycation purposes and vice-versa. We call on owners and operators of these accommodation establishments (AEs) to be more vigilant and strict about these protocols. 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,” stressed Puyat.
Quarantine hotels are also barred from operating their ancillary establishments such as spas, bars, gym and the like.
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.
Second time offenders will be charged 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 stand to have their accreditation revoked or cancelled and/or meted a fine P20,000.00 but not more than P100,000.00 based on the gravity of the offense.
The DOT has already written the hotels to remind them to comply with the guidelines.
The Department has also issued a “Notice to Explain” to hotels found to have violated the guidelines.
Since May, by virtue of DOT Administrative Order (AO) 2020-002, selected hotels in Metro Manila were issued Certificates of Authority to Operate (CAO) as quarantine facilities for stranded tourists and essential workers.
Later, DOT AO 2020-002-C allowed guests to include returning overseas Filipinos (OFs) and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). Subsequently, as community quarantine levels improved in other areas, the other international airports in the country were allowed to open and AEs located near those ports of entry were permitted to operate as quarantine hotels.
In September, DOT AO 2020-006-A was issued, allowing four- to five-star rated DOT-accredited AEs in the National Capital Region (NCR) 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 likewise allowed to operate.
“Let us not be remiss in our obligations as service provider. We will weather this crisis and welcome the time when normalcy returns. Meanwhile, we appeal to all DOT-accredited AEs to strictly adhere to the rules and regulations of your assigned operation, whether as quarantine facility or staycation establishment. We owe our guests’ and workers’ safety to your continued cooperation,” the tourism chief added.
As of December 17, fifteen AEs in NCR have been issued CAOS. These include the 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.