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470 hotels able to operate during ECQ in NCR

June 05, 2020 - Friday 6:06 PM by PNA

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MANILA – A total of 470 hotels were able to operate for select guests throughout the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila, a Department of Tourism (DOT) official said Thursday.

These accommodation establishments account for 56,871 rooms with at least 56 percent occupancy as of this writing.

"Sa kabuuan, if there (is) one thing in the tourism industry in Metro Manila, if there's one sector that has survived and likewise assisted the government, it's the hotel industry (In general, if there's one thing in the tourism industry in Metro Manila, the hotel sector has survived and assisted the government)," DOT-National Capital Region Director Woodrow Maquiling said in a Laging Handa briefing.

Maquiling said most of the guests who checked in were repatriated Filipinos, business process outsourcing employees, and long-staying travelers.

In a presentation, he said the accreditation of accommodation establishments that volunteered to become quarantine facilities was part of the DOT's tourism response and recovery plan.

Since the ECQ was imposed in the capital region, Maquiling said the DOT has assisted more than 30,000 stranded foreign and domestic tourists via sweeper and repatriation flights. 

Meanwhile, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has authorized the operations of establishments for accommodation purposes, Malacañang said on Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said hotels, resorts, apartment hotels, tourist inns, motels, pension houses, private homes used for homestay, ecolodges, serviced apartments, condotels and bed and breakfast facilities can now operate while the country still grapples with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

“Pinapayagan na rin [silang] mag-operate (They are now allowed to operate),” Roque said in a virtual presser aired on state-run PTV-4.

The fresh directive was contained in IATF-EID Resolution 43 approved on Wednesday.

The resolution, released by the Palace on Friday, defines accommodation establishments as “an establishment operating primarily for accommodation purposes.”

The new order is applicable to all areas in the country where general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ (MGCQ) are currently being imposed.

Pangasinan, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Metro Manila, Central Visayas, Zamboanga City, Davao City, Cebu City and Mandaue City are put under GCQ from June 1 to 15.

MGCQ, on the other hand, is imposed in the rest of the country until June 15.

Under IATF-EID Resolution 43, accommodation establishments may operate only upon the issuance of a certificate of authority to operate by the Department of Tourism.

“Hotel operations shall be limited to the provision of basic accommodation services to guests through an in-house skeleton workforce,” the order read.

The resolution also emphasizes that ancillary establishments within the premises like restaurants, cafes, bars, gyms and spas are still prohibited to operate or provide room service.

“Accommodation establishments may prepare packed meals for distribution to guests who opt for the same, and food orders for take-out and delivery services only,” according to the latest IATF-EID resolution. PNA