City Garden Grande Hotel faces fines
The Department of Tourism (DOT) slapped the City Garden Grand Hotel (CGGH) in Makati City with suspension, fines, and revocation of its certificate to operate following a probe into the death of flight attendant Christine Dacera inside its premises, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.
In a statement, the DOT said it found the hotel to have “misrepresented itself to the public” as being allowed to accept guests for leisure or staycation purposes despite being a quarantine facility.
“The DOT, in its Resolution dated 14 January 2021, finds CGGH liable for the offense of gross and evident bad faith in dealing with clients/fraudulent solicitation of business or making any false, deceptive, or misleading claims or statements for the purpose of soliciting business from clients under Section 13.2 (c) of DOT Memorandum Circular No. 2018-03,” the statement read.
Under DOT Administrative Order No. 2020-002-C, hotels operating as quarantine facilities are prohibited from accepting guests for leisure purposes.
The DOT National Capital Region (DOT-NCR), during the investigation, found evidence that the hotel was advertising packages to accept leisure guests and “never indicated that it is a quarantine hotel.”
The resolution imposed the CGGH with a six-month suspension of DOT accreditation, a fine of PHP10,000, and revocation of its Certificate of Authority to Operate.
“The CGGH has the right to appeal within the period prescribed by the DOT rules and regulations,” the statement reads.
Warning to other hotels
The DOT warned all accredited accommodation establishments to limit their operations to the authority given to them, noting that quarantine facilities cannot offer rooms for leisure and vice versa.
“Only four- and five-star rated AEs may be allowed to apply as staycation hotels. At present, there are only fifteen (15) AEs in Metro Manila that have been issued the Certificate of Authority to Operate as Staycation (CAOS),” the statement further said.
These staycation hotels are 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.
It encouraged the public to report similar incidents that violate DOT rules and regulations to the DOT’s Office of Tourism Standards and Regulations by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Dacera, along with some of her friends, celebrated New Year's Eve at the hotel, as seen from several video footages and photos circulating online.
She was found dead in a bathtub on Jan. 1, with aneurysm as the cause of death, according to an autopsy report.
Her family, however, said there could be foul play surrounding her death. A preliminary investigation into Dacera's case is set on Jan. 27.
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