Senior citizen asks Mayor Vico Sotto to revoke hotel’s permit to operate
MANILA, Philippines — A senior citizen has asked the Pasig City government to revoke a 5-star hotel’s permit to operate for allegedly violating the Senior Citizen’s Act.
Senior citizen Melinda Rada submitted a petition addressed to Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto through the Pasig City Administrator’s Office.
Rada is seeking to revoke the hotel’s operating permit for allegedly transgressing her rights as a senior citizen under Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Seniors Citizens Act.
Through the petition, the elderly woman told Sotto that the Expanded Senior Citizens Act “gives your office the power to cancel or revoke the business permit or permit to operate of any establishment or business entity that fails to abide by the provisions of this Act.”
The Mayor can arrive at this decision upon the aggrieved person’s filing of an appropriate complaint and after due notice and hearing.
The Office of the Mayor received the petition on November 30, 2023.
“I am filing this complaint against [the hotel] not only for myself, but on behalf of several other senior citizens whose rights might have also been violated, but (they are) not fully aware of their rights,” said Rada.
She hoped the petition would alert her fellow seniors to the available remedies when an establishment tramples upon their rights.
“I hope that this complaint will awaken my fellow senior citizens that this remedy of revocation or cancellation of business permit or permit to operate of any establishment violating the rights of a senior citizen could be availed of to protect and defend the rights of the elderly,” she said.
Rada previously filed a complaint against the hotel before the Pasig Prosecutors’ Office for violation of Consumer Act of the Philippines (Article 116 of Republic Act 7394).
According to Rada, she checked into the hotel with her senior citizen sister on November 25, 2022.
Upon check out two days later, she asked for her 12 percent value-added tax exemption and 20 percent discount as a senior citizen, as guaranteed under Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.
But the hotel refused to grant her the discounts, claiming the rate was allegedly on “promo.”
However, when asked for evidence, the staff could not produce any document to prove it has a promo and that the promo had clearance from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Rada, through her counsel, Attorney Romulo Macalintal, sent a letter to the hotel management.
In response, the hotel offered to return the 20 percent discount to Rada, with an overnight stay and breakfast for two.
She refused the offer.
Instead, she asked the hotel to donate P250,000 to any Senior Citizen foundation.
This request was meant to partly assuage the damages caused by the hotel to other senior citizens who were “wittingly or unwittingly denied their discounts on a promo not approved by DTI.”
Under the Consumer Act of the Philippines, attempts to deny seniors and PWDs their rights are illegal when the promos lack the approval of DTI.