DOT may sanction erring Batangas resort
The Department of Tourism (DOT) has issued a “show-cause order” against a beach resort in the town of San Juan, Batangas province, for a “reckless social gathering” held there on Dec. 7.
Michael Palispis, tourism director for Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) region said the DOT got hold of videos showing people partying without masks and face shields on the beach of Blue Coral Beach Resorts Inc. in the village of Laiya.
Following the incident, the local government of San Juan revoked the business permit and filed charges against the establishment. The same resort was suspended in September, also for breaching government’s health and safety protocols, the DOT said.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat reminded anew accommodation and tourism establishments that have reopened to always follow health protocols.
Even if its business permit has been revoked, the DOT will still look into its accreditation, Puyat told reporters in an online press briefing on Wednesday.
“Erring establishments may face criminal charges as deemed appropriate by the local government unit concerned, and shall likewise be sanctioned by the DOT,” she added.Fake test results
Last month, the DOT castigated the owner of an establishment on Boracay where a Halloween party was held over alleged violations of health protocols.
It also condemned tourists who allegedly presented fake COVID-19 test results to enter the resort island.
According to reports, the group, composed of four women and two men from Metro Manila, was “extracted” by police from their hotel rooms on Dec. 7 after authorities confirmed that five of the six reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results they presented were forged.
“The DOT commends the swift action of the Aklan provincial police in dealing with the suspects,” the agency said in a statement.
Puyat said similar acts would not be condoned as these undermined collaborative efforts to protect and revive Boracay tourism.
The DOT earlier announced its partnership with the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital to partly subsidize its RT-PCR test worth P1,800 for Boracay-bound tourists in order to make travel to the island affordable. —REPORTS FROM MARICAR CINCO AND TINA G. SANTOS INQ
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