The Makati city government is set to file a lawsuit against the hotel where a Filipino traveler returning from the United States allegedly skipped his quarantine, Mayor Abby Binay said on Tuesday.
In a TV interview, however, Binay said the city government was focusing more on contact tracing efforts than prosecuting parties involved.
“The city is focusing more on the number of infected patients. It’s really more of our concern that, you know, the lawsuit can come later. It’s not going anywhere. It’s not like it’s an immediate concern, ”she told ANC.
Binay said they had an ongoing investigation into the Berjaya Hotel where the traveler, identified by police as Gwyneth Anne Chua, allegedly broke COVID-19 health rules.
“There are several options we can do. We can suspend their establishment permit. The Ministry of Tourism can also make a recommendation, ”Binay told ANC.
She pointed out that the hotels are accredited as quarantine facilities by the DOT and not by local government units. However, since Berjaya Hotel is a commercial property located in Makati City, it must comply with its rules and regulations.
Binay urged hotels and motels in the city that are used as quarantine facilities to implement COVID-19 quarantine protocols accordingly.
“I don’t have the manpower just to check if all of them are compliant. I think at the end of the day it’s really self-discipline. You regulate yourself. You have to follow the rules. You can’t expect the government to keep checking to see if you are following the rules, ”she said.
The Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) said that Chua checked in at the Berjaya Hotel on December 22, 2021 at 11:23 p.m. At 11:40 p.m. the same night, she was checked in at the Berjaya Hotel. collected from the same hotel. by his own father with an SUV.
Chua, who tested positive for COVID-19, not only skipped quarantine, but also attended a party and visited several restaurants, causing 11 people to be infected.
The Berjaya hotel apologized for the incident, admitting it was a “very serious violation” amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He said he would hold accountable the staff who allowed Chua to leave the quarantine area.
On the other hand, CIDG and the Quarantine Bureau are preparing their own complaints against Chua.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said on Monday she had received more reports of alleged hotel quarantine violations even before the latest incident. –KBK, GMA News