MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) has suspended the accreditation of a Makati hotel and revoked its permit as a multiple-use hotel amid the “Poblacion Girl” debacle.
In a statement, the DOT said the Berjaya Hotel Makati is suspended “for its failure to stop a guest from breaking quarantine rules, leaving the premises to party, and only to return a few days later to test positive for Covid-19” which resulted in her having infected at least 12 others.
The DOT said that it also fined Berjaya Hotel Makati an equivalent to twice the rack rate of its most expensive room.
The Department’s Tourism Regulation, Coordination, and Resource Generation approved the penalties recommended by the DOT- National Capital Region, the statement said.
Berjaya Hotel has 15 working days to appeal the DOT decision.
Copy of the department’s decision has also been given to the Department of Health (DOH), Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ), One-Stop-Shop-Management of Returning Overseas Filipino of the Department of Transportation -Office of Transportation Security (DOTr- OTS), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and Makati local government unit (LGU).
The DOT said that while Berjaya Hotel assured the department that their guests follow strict protocols, it later apologized in news reports and social media for its failure to report the “quarantine skipping incident” to the BOQ.
The statements made by the hotel management and its public apology were “an admission of not just the facts of the incident but as well as their lapses in their responsibility as an accredited establishment of the Department of Tourism,” the decision said.
This case stemmed from the actions of returning Filipino Gwyneth Chua, identified in social media as “Poblacion Girl” because she was seen in Poblacion, Makati City when she was supposed to be in the quarantine hotel.
Chua arrived in the country on December 22 and checked in at Berjaya Hotel at around 11:30 pm. A CCTV footage showed her leaving the hotel at 11:45 pm and was later on seen on social media partying in a bar in Poblacion. —/mbmf