DOT imposes penalties vs City Garden Grand Hotel

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 14, 2021   •   198

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Thursday (January 14) served a six-month suspension and a P10,000 fine on City Garden Grand Hotel (CGGH) for misrepresenting itself to the public.

The Tourism Department also revoked its Certificate of Authority to Operate.

In a statement, the DOT said the CGGH “misrepresented itself to the public as being allowed to accommodate guests for leisure or staycation purposes despite being a quarantine facility.”

Under DOT Administrative Order No. 2020-002-C, hotels operating as quarantine facilities are prohibited from accepting guests for leisure purposes.

Based on the resolution dated January 14, the CGGH in Makati City is 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.

Aside from the New Year’s Eve Party which led to the death of flight attendant Christine Dacera, the hotel also reportedly have marketing packages to accept leisure guests and never indicated that it is a quarantine hotel.

Meanwhile, the CGGH can file an appeal within the period prescribed by the DOT rules and regulations.

The Tourism Department also warned all accredited accommodation establishments (AEs) to confine their operations to the authority given them, limited to just one per given time. AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Result on City Garden Grand Hotel probe out this week – DOT

Robie de Guzman   •   January 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Results of the investigation into the possible violations of City Garden Grand Hotel in Makati City, where 23-year old flight attendant Christine Dacera died after partying with some friends, is expected to be out this week, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said on Tuesday.

“I was hoping to give a decision today pero hindi pwedeng i-rush. But don’t worry, by this week, lalabas na yan,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a press briefing.

The Tourism department last week issued a show-cause order against the hotel, directing its management to explain in writing within three days why its accreditation should not be revoked for possible violations for continuing to accept guests for leisure purposes when it is being used as a quarantine facility.

Government regulations state that an establishment being used as a quarantine or isolation facility are not allowed to provide accommodation for leisure purposes.

Puyat said the hotel already responded to the show-cause order and that the department conducted a physical investigation into the establishment last Friday.

She, however, declined to give any information about it but assured they are thoroughly probing the issue.

The tourism chief also assured that the DOT will do what is fair and just.

The hotel previously insisted that it claims no liability in Dacera’s death and that it is compliant with government policies. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Christine Dacera laid to rest in Gen. Santos City

Robie de Guzman   •   January 11, 2021

Christine Angelica Dacera

MANILA, Philippines — Christine Angelica Dacera, the 23-year old flight attendant who died after attending a new year’s eve party in Makati hotel last week, was laid to rest on Sunday in a private cemetery in her hometown of General Santos City.

Family members and close friends attended the burial held on Sunday morning at the Forest Lake Memorial Park.

Christine’s mother, Sharon Dacera said the family would continue to seek justice for their daughter as she thanked all those who showed support in this time of grief.

“Nagpasalamat ako sa inyo… you’re here to condole with us. Sana po ipanalangin niyo po, ipanalangin niyo po na magkaroon ng justice and peace ang soul ng among Christine Angelica “Ica” Faba Dacera,” she said.

To recall, Dacera was found unconscious in a bathtub in one of the rooms of City Garden Grand Hotel around noontime of January 1 after a night of partying with 12 men, some of them were her friends.

She was rushed to a hospital and was declared dead on arrival.

Dacera was buried a few days after her remains arrived in General Santos City on Thursday via a Philippine Airlines flight.

Initial medical report stated that Dacera died due to a ruptured aortic aneurysm but her family insisted that she was very healthy and suspected that she was drugged and sexually abused.

Police initially announced that three suspects in her death case were arrested and charged with rape with homicide but the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office ordered the release of the apprehended persons and referred the case for further investigation.

The prosecutor’s office said further investigation should be conducted to determine whether Dacera was raped and/or killed, and if the identified suspects were responsible for the crime. It also seeks to determine whether the death was by reason or on occasion of rape or for other reasons – the actual cause of death.

It also directed police officers to submit additional evidence such as DNA analysis report, toxicology/chemical analysis, and the histopath examination report.

The preliminary investigation is set on January 13.

Officials from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) were in General Santos on Saturday to collect samples from Dacera’s body as part of its probe on the case.

The NBI, however, admitted that getting results to be used as evidence would be difficult given the state of the body.

“Alam namin na mediyo impossible na, considering that there has already be compromises, compromised na yung ibang pieces of evidences dito, considering na contaminated na ah nag-detoriate na. nagkaroon na ng rapid deterioration yung ibang ebidensiya dito, but again we will not discourage by that,” NBI deputy director Atty. Ferdinand Lavin said.

The NBI said the result of the re-autopsy conducted on Dacera’s body is expected to be released in a week. – RRD (with details from Correspondent James Pugoy)

Only 15 hotels in Metro Manila allowed to accept ‘staycation’ guests – DOT

Robie de Guzman   •   January 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Tourism (DOT) reiterated that not all four- or five-star accommodation establishments (AE) in Metro Manila are allowed to accept guests for leisure purposes.

In a statement on Tuesday, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said only those that have been granted by the DOT a certificate of authority to operate as staycation hotel can provide accommodation for leisure activities.

Puyat said only 15 establishments in the nation’s capital have been allowed to operate as “staycation” hotels and these are the following:

  • 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
  • Hotel Okura Manila

Accommodation establishments that are not included in the list are either closed or operating as a quarantine facility, the DOT said.

“We would like to correct the misperception that all four- or five-star rated accommodation establishments can operate as staycation hotels. For a hotel to accept guests for leisure purposes, it has to apply for a Certificate of Authority to Operate as Staycation (CAOS) hotel,” the tourism chief said.

She also stressed that a hotel operating as a quarantine or isolation facility is prohibited from accepting guests for leisure purposes.

“With the authority is the responsibility to strictly adhere to the minimum health and safety guidelines. One has to pass the rigid inspection to ascertain that measures and systems are put in place and diligently practiced on a daily basis. It cannot, above all things, concurrently operate as a quarantine facility,” Puyat said.

Puyat made the statement after the DOT issued a show-cause order against City Garden Grand Hotel in Makati City where a 23-year old flight attendant was found dead in one of its rooms after attending a new year’s eve party.

The DOT asked the hotel to explain in three days why it should not be suspended as it is not accredited to operate as a staycation hotel.

“Lives are on the line and our economic recovery depends on everybody being responsible. Let us all perform our duties well. Each has an important part to play in managing this crisis,” Puyat said.

“This appeal is also aimed at AEs without CAOS and tour operators and other entities that continue to post invitations or make false, deceptive, and misleading claims or statements for the purpose of soliciting business from clients these non-staycation enterprises have been using social media to carry its ads,” she added.

Enterprises that wish to secure accreditation to operate as staycation hotels may submit their application through the department’s accreditation portal.

The department also urged the public to confirm via this link the operation status of an establishment before booking or checking-in. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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