THE LOCAL government here continues to be strict in enforcing the COVID-19 protocols in accredited multi-use hotels (MUHs) that serve as quarantine facilities for arriving repatriated overseas Filipino workers and returning Filipinos.
Generose Tecson, City Tourism Operations Office (CTOO) head, bared this following the joint Department of Health-Department of Tourism (DOH-DOT Advisory No. 1 Series of 2021 issued on Dec. 30, 2021, which gives a stern warning against violation of quarantine protocols and other minimum public health standards (MPHS) to all DOT-accredited accommodation establishments operating under the alert level system.
“We had been very strict with our MUHs. We are happy that the DOH had already issued a memo, but we had been using our own ordinance po when challenged by those who defy protocols,” she told the City Information Office via Messenger chat interview.
The DOH-DOT advisory came on the heels of reported violations of quarantine protocols and other MPHS in DOT-accredited accommodation establishments.
The advisory, signed by DOH Secretary Francisco Duque and DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, underscored that all DOT-accredited accommodation establishments shall comply with the necessary testing and quarantine protocols of their guests as prescribed by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
“Quarantine guests shall be strictly monitored and shall not be allowed to check out of the hotel, leave its premises, or commingle with other guests until the release of their negative RT-PCR test or upon clearance by the Bureau of Quarantine,” the advisory said.
DOT-accredited quarantine hotels, MUHs, and regular hotels functioning as isolation or accommodation facilities are also prohibited from being used as isolation or accommodation facilities for confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Should quarantine guests turn out to be COVID-19 positive, the management of DOT-accredited quarantine hotels and MUHs must coordinate with the BOQ for contact tracing and their mandatory transfer to isolation facilities.
The DOH-DOT advisory stipulates that an individual or entity committing prohibited acts under Republic Act (RA) No. 11332, otherwise known as the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act, and its Implementing Rules and Regulations, shall be fined not less than P20,000 but not more than P50,000 or imprisonment of not less than one month but not more than six months, or both such fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the proper court.
Likewise, the accommodation establishment’s chief executive officer, president, general manager, or other officers-in-charge shall also be held liable. The business permit and license to operate of the erring establishment may also be canceled.
The CTOO, on its Facebook page, earlier announced that inbound domestic tourists must ensure that they book hotels and tours with establishments that have inbound domestic valid business permits. The CTOO also reiterated that there are currently no travel restrictions or requirements for arriving domestic travelers.
However, inbound international travelers through the Francisco Bangoy International Airport must strictly follow IATF’s guidelines.
The CTOO is strictly monitoring the entry of air passengers, particularly those from abroad. From the airport, ROFWs and ROFs will be transported to their quarantine hotels with tourist police providing security for them.
Tecson called on Davaoeños and tourists to be socially responsible to protect themselves and others. “Vaccination is the best protection, but it has to be partnered by wearing your masks, washing your hands, keeping distance. Do it all. Do it often. Do it well,” she added.
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