MANILA – Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat on Tuesday vowed to probe all hotels and inns that reportedly kicked out stranded foreign tourists while Luzon is under enhanced community quarantine and domestic flights are limited.
“It is regrettable that these incidents are being reported even after we released our implementing rules and regulations for hotels during the community quarantine. Our regional offices are in coordination with LGUs (local government units) and embassies in the Philippines,” she said in a text message.
Romulo-Puyat noted that the DOT, together with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), will investigate concerned hotels and “file legal actions, if necessary”.
During a meeting with Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., European Union Delegation to the Philippines Chargé d’affaires Thomas Wiersing reported that foreign tourists are being kicked out of hotels once their bookings end, “even if they fail to book domestic flights out.”
Romulo-Puyat clarified that foreign tourists can extend their stay in a hotel as long as they have an existing booking.
“Rest assured, we will be helping all stranded tourists find temporary accommodation until they are able to find outgoing flights back to their countries,” she said.
Meanwhile, she appealed to all hotel and resort owners “not to take advantage” of the Covid-19 situation by overcharging their guests.
Since the community quarantine has been imposed, the DOT has been arranging sweeper flights in coordination with the DFA and the Department of Transportation.
As of March 24, the agency has already assisted 10,334 people, said Romulo-Puyat, noting that there are 2,912 tourists still stranded in Luzon and Visayas. (PNA)