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City Garden Grand hotel suspended for 2 months 

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The Department of Tourism (DOT) reduced to two months the suspension of the City Garden Grand Hotel (CGGH) following the latter's appeal on behalf of its pandemic-hit employees, acccording to a report by Philippine News Agency.

The hotel, where flight attendant Christine Dacera was discovered dead after a New Year's Eve party, was earlier found liable for "gross and evident bad faith in dealing with clients/fraudulent solicitation of business or making false, deceptive, or misleading claims or statements for the purpose of soliciting business" after it accommodated guests for leisure purposes despite being a quarantine facility.

Penalties initially imposed were the suspension of its DOT accreditation for six months, a P10,000 fine, and the revocation of its certificate of authority to operate.

Based on a briefer provided by Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, the penalties now are modified as follows:

a. Suspension of DOT Accreditation for a period of two months; and

b. A fine of PHP10,000.

Romulo-Puyat said the appeal was submitted on Jan. 27, asking the DOT to “reverse and set aside the Office of Tourism Standards and Regulation (OTSR) findings, and penalties imposed, or, in the alternative downgrade and reduce them” in consideration of its employees.

"The said appeal was partially granted with the suspension of the DOT accreditation reduced from six months to two months," she said.

"Nevertheless, the DOT gave CGGH a stern warning on record that any further violation of whatever nature of current rules shall be dealt with accordingly," she added.

Romulo-Puyat said the department has endorsed the resolution to the Makati City government to implement the two-month suspension of CGGH's business permit.

CGGH is a DOT-accredited 4-star hotel in Makati City operating as a Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ)-approved quarantine facility.

Following the news of Dacera's demise, who was then billeted in CGGH with other individuals for a party, the DOT received reports that several guests were able to stay in the hotel for leisure purposes, unaware that it was operating as a quarantine facility.

Some promo posters downloaded by the DOT on Jan. 9, 2021 showed that CGGH was even advertising for "summer staycation for 4" despite lacking a certificate of authority to operate as a staycation hotel.

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