Makati’s closure of Berjaya Hotel ‘without legal basis’– hotel mgmt
MANILA, Philippines — The closure of the Berjaya Makati Hotel by the Makati City government is “without legal basis,” the hotel’s management said Thursday shortly after city officials shut down the establishment following a COVID-19 quarantine breach.
“The order by the Makati City Hall closing down Berjaya Makati Hotel’s operations based on the suspension order issued by the Department of Tourism (DOT) is without legal basis,” the hotel said in a statement.
It can be recalled that the DOT gave Berjaya Hotel 15 days to appeal the decision. The DOT also ordered the hotel to pay a P13,200 fine, which according to the hotel’s management, is “equivalent to twice the rack rate of its most expensive room.”
Makati City Law Department head Atty. Don Camiña, on the other hand, said the city is closing the hotel “since only hotels with DOT accreditation can operate at this time.” The closure order was served by the city government’s Business Permit and Licensing Office.
The hotel pointed out: “For one, the DOT order is not yet final as the hotel will appeal it within the fifteen-day period it is given. Meanwhile, the suspension is not in effect.
“Secondly, there is no law that penalizes a hotel for not reporting a guest who jumps quarantine. There is nothing in R.A. 13322 [Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act] that is applicable to the hotel.
“Thirdly, we must be accorded due process and be allowed to explain before any penalty is imposed.”
The hotel’s management added: “We have not been given our day in court by the Makati City Hall.”
INQUIRER.net has asked Camiña for comment.
Meanwhile, the hotel’s management also said the immediate closure of the hotel posed another problem: What to do with its quarantined guests as it is serving as a COVID-19 quarantine hotel.
“Where do we send the 150 or so quarantine guests we have at the moment?”
The hotel’s management added that every quarantine hotel “serves a strategic purpose” as the country is battling the pandemic.
“To close down a quarantine hotel for no legal reason is to close down a hospital just when it is helping to win the war. There is no benefit to be gained by such regulatory posturing when national interest and public health are on the line,” it said.
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