Manila, Philippines — Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat and Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez led the inspection of selected hotels and restaurants in the Ortigas Center on Wednesday (July 1) to check compliance with health and safety protocols under Metro Manila’s General Community Quarantine (GCQ) guidelines.
Puyat said she was encouraged by what she saw among the establishments inspected, that included the Marco Polo Hotel and Go Hotels in Ortigas, and several restaurants in SM Megamall.
“All of us underwent the standard protocols prescribed in the guidelines, like the filling out of health declaration forms and the temperature checks before entering the establishments. I commend the collective efforts of our stakeholders to abide by the prescribed health and safety guidelines. It is important for us to sustain these efforts as they will influence how we rebuild consumer trust and regain tourist confidence in the Philippines,” Puyat said.
“It was also inspiring to experience how establishments have stepped up to keep our brand of Filipino hospitality — even behind facemasks and physical distancing – while we are still in the midst of this pandemic,” she added.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) had issued “new normal” health and safety guidelines for hotels in accordance with the minimum public health standards set by the Department of Health (DOH). These standards cover the kitchens, food and beverage service, sanitation and disinfection, guest handling, reception and concierge, rooms, housekeeping, public areas, and transportation.
The DOT also issued separate guidelines for dine-in operations of accredited restaurants following the adoption of the joint recommendation of the DOT and DTI by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
The inspection is part of the ongoing compliance audit conducted by the DOT’s NCR office.
Up to June 25, the NCR office of the DOT had carried out 243 inspection tours on hotels and restaurants in the region.
There are now 336 DOT-accredited hotels in the NCR region, or a 90% percent increase from the 177 that was recorded last year. Although restaurants are not mandated by law to be accredited by the DOT, a 70% increase in accreditation has been recorded with a total of 133 restaurants accredited so far this year compared with 78 in 2019.
Puyat said she hoped that through the DOT’s continued cooperation with government agencies like DTI and private stakeholders, the post-audit mechanism for tourism establishments can be continuously improved.
Pasig Representative Roman Romulo, Mayor Vico Sotto, and Mandaluyong Mayor Menchie Abalos also joined Secretary Puyat and Secretary Lopez during the inspection visit.
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