DOT suspends, fines Berjaya Hotel in Makati after quarantine breach


Posted at Jan 05 2022 08:15 AM

MANILA—The Department of Tourism said on Wednesday it has fined and suspended a Makati hotel that allowed a guest to leave its premises to party and who later turned positive for COVID-19.

The Berjaya Hotel Makati was fined "equivalent to twice the rack rate of its most expensive room" and its permit as a multiple-use hotel was also revoked, the agency said in a statement.

A copy of the decision was served to the hotel, which has 15 working days to appeal, the DOT said.

Gwyneth Chua, who had a travel history from the US and checked in at the hotel on December 22, skipped quarantine at the designated site and was later seen at a party in the Poblacion district.

The hotel, in a reply to the DOT dated January 1, admitted that Chua left its premises 15 minutes after checking in, according to the agency.

"Neither did the hotel security personnel nor the front lobby call her attention, and neither was there any effort to report the incident to the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ), even after her return three (3) days later. She was later seen in social media posts at a bar in Poblacion," the DOT said.

The hotel management's statement 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 department added.

The Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group has filed charges against Chua.

Makati Mayor Abby Binay earlier said the city government would not declare Chua "persona non grata," but urged the hotel and the bar involved to pursue civil cases against her.

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