Nat`l gov`t inspects protocol compliance of hotels, restos in NCR

MANILA – Government officials visited on Wednesday two hotels and restaurants in a mall in Pasig City to inspect whether health and safety protocols against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) are being implemented.

Although contactless transactions may still be further improved, Tourism chief Bernadette Romulo-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," she said.

"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,” she added.

The partial dine-in operations in hotels and restaurants have been allowed since Metro Manila was placed under the more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ).

However, accommodation establishments are limited to accepting guests who are front-liners, long-staying travelers, returning overseas Filipinos, and other essential workers.

Given that no leisure travel and activities are permitted under GCQ, Romulo-Puyat said hotels cannot accept tourists yet.

During the site visit, Romulo-Puyat recommends putting up more acrylic sheets at the reception and restaurant tables as well as adopting QR-oriented entry to further prevent the transmission of the virus.

The official said the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will also suggest the digitalization of health declaration forms to further boost customer confidence when dining in at a restaurant.

The inspection is part of the ongoing compliance audit by the DOT’s National Capital Region office. Up to June 25, the agency had carried out 243 inspection tours on hotels and restaurants in the region.

In an interview with reporters, DOT-NCR director Woodrow Maquiling said there are now 133 DOT-accredited restaurants, up by 70 percent since the enhanced community quarantine was first announced.

Meanwhile, he clarified that the accreditation for restaurants are optional but will serve as "seal of good housekeeping" to attract customers.

On hotels, the DOT has so far accredited 336 hotels across Metro Manila, a 90 percent increase from the 177 that was recorded last year.

Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo, Mayor Vico Sotto, and Mandaluyong City Mayor Menchie Abalos also joined Romulo-Puyat and Lopez during the inspection visit. (PNA)