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Hotels in GCQ, MGCQ areas allowed to operate at full capacity

By Catherine Talavera Published Oct 21, 2020 3:16 am

Hotels in general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ areas may now operate at full capacity, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat announced today.

In a statement, Puyat said the Department of Tourism (DOT) was given the authority by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to determine the allowable operational capacity in areas classified under GCQ and MGCQ.

Puyat, however, stressed that the decision to open at 100 percent operational capacity will be subject to the hotel management’s decision and compliance with the safety guidelines.

The DOT stressed that this was made through the IATF-EID's approval of Resolution No. 79 last Oct. 15. 

The said resolution replaces the provision that accommodation establishments in areas under GCQ may only operate with a skeleton work force, and now provides that such operations may be governed by the issuances of relevant national agencies such as the DOT.

Along with this comes the need to ready the whole tourism value chain, which includes the accommodation, transportation and tour operation sectors.

Operational capacity is defined by IATF as number of employees who can be permitted to physically report to work on site.

Puyat said that the DOT will soon issue the amended guidelines for the expanded operational capacity of hotels including staycation hotels.

The DOT earlier issued Administrative Order 2020-006-A or the “Amended Guidelines on the Operations of Accommodation Establishments for Staycation Purposes under a General Community Quarantine,” which requires all accommodation establishments in areas declared to be under GCQ to secure a certificate of authority to operate for staycations (CAOS) from the DOT prior to accommodating guests for staycation.

This was after the IATF approved earlier the operations of hotels for staycation purposes in GCQ areas as it nodded the recommendation of the DOT to explore various ways to restart tourism activities during quarantine.

Lobby Lounge at Shangri-La Makati 

Puyat said there are currently 10 hotels issued with a CAOS that are DOT star-rated hotels.

Among these are Grand Hyatt, Makati Shangri-La, Okada, Shangri-La at the Fort, Nobu Hotel City of Dreams (COD), Joy Nostalg Hotel and Suites, EDSA Shangri La, Solaire, Hyatt regency COD and Nuwa COD.

The DOT reported that there are 28 star-rated accommodation establishments in Metro Manila in the four and five-star categories. Of these, 16 are five-star and 12 are four-star.

The DOT reported that there are 28 star-rated accommodation establishments in Metro Manila in the four and five-star categories. Of these, 16 are five-star and 12 are four-star.

Apart from giving the DOT the authority to determine the operation capacity of hotels in GCQ and MGCQ areas, under resolution 79, the IATF also approved the easing up of inter-zonal and intra-zonal movement, in line with reviving domestic tourism. 

The Peak at Grand Hyatt Manila

Under the said resolution, the inter-zonal movement of non-authorized persons outside residences (non-APOR) between areas placed under GCQ and MGCQ for any purpose will be permitted subject to the reasonable regulations imposed by the local government unit (LGU) concerned, if any, and which should be submitted to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), or in the case of Boracay Island, subject to those imposed by the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF).

"Along with this comes the need to ready the whole tourism value chain, which includes the accommodation, transportation and tour operation sectors. Allowing the accommodation sector to operate at full capacity will be most welcomed by tourism’s workforce that has been greatly affected since the community lockdown," Puyat said.