Manila, Philippines (Updated at 12:04 p.m.)– The Tourism Department said on Wednesday it had suspended accreditation of a Makati City hotel that did not bar its guest, a traveler from the United States who later tested positive for COVID-19, d ” breaking the quarantine rules and leaving the premises to attend a party.
The DOT said it also revoked the Berjaya Hotel Makati’s license as a multi-use hotel. Multi-use hotels are “accommodation establishments that have been inspected by a team of DOT and Quarantine Office staff and found to be suitable for accommodating clients in quarantine and not in quarantine due to compliance with regulations. standards of physical separation of guests. “
In addition, the Makati Hotel was also “fined twice the fixed rate of its most expensive room” or equivalent to a fine of 13,200 P.
The tourism department added that the sanctions approved by its regulatory, coordination and resource generation unit were recommended by DOT-NCR.
Berjaya was penalized after the return of Filipino Gwyneth Anne Chua, nicknamed “Poblacion girl” on social media, was spotted partying in Poblacion, Makati City, when she was supposed to be in compulsory quarantine at the hotel.
The DOT previously asked the Makati Hotel to submit its response to the “quarantine skip incident” allegations within three days through the Notice of Explanation.
In her response dated January 1, Berjaya admitted that Chua left the hotel after checking in on her arrival date on December 22.
CCTV footage showed she had left the scene at 11:45 p.m., just 15 minutes after recording.
“Neither the hotel security staff nor the lobby caught his attention, and no effort was made to report the incident to the Quarantine Office: even after he returned three days later. . She was then seen in social media posts at a bar in Poblacion, ”the DOT statement read.
“Chua, who had been booked for a mandatory five-day hotel quarantine until December 27, returned later that night of December 25. She underwent an RT-PCR test on December 26. Her result is turned positive the next day, “he said. added.
In a letter dated December 29, 2021, Berjaya assured the agency that his quarantined guests “follow strict protocols.” However, he later apologized in a press release and on social media for failing to stop Chua from breaking quarantine rules and for failing to report the quarantine violation.
The DOT decision said that the hotel management’s statements and public apology were “an admission not only of the facts of the incident, but also of their failures in their responsibility as an accredited establishment of the Ministry of Tourism”.
The tourist agency said it had already served the copy of the decision on Berjaya. He has 15 working days to appeal the decision.
The decision was also forwarded to other relevant bodies such as the Ministry of Health, BOQ, One-Stop-Shop-Management of Returning Overseas Filipino of the Ministry of Transport -Board of Transport Safety, Ministry of the Interior and local governments, Ministry of Labor and Employment, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Department of Trade and Industry, and Makati local government unit.
The DOT said earlier that accommodation establishments that fail to comply with the health and safety protocols of the DOT and the DOH or the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases are at risk of ” criminal penalties of fines and / or imprisonment, and administrative penalties. such as suspension or revocation of accreditation depending on the seriousness of the offense.