(Eagle News) — The management of the Makati hotel where a returning overseas Filipino from the United States was supposed to have stayed for the duration of her quarantine upon arrival in the country has apologized for “failing to stop” that same guest from skipping her quarantine.
In a statement, the Berjaya Hotel said that while the 38-year-old female guest and her friends “are reportedly only mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic, this was a very serious breach given the pandemic’s disastrous impact on lives and livelihood.”
“This was the only incident of its kind in the nearly two years that we have served as a quarantine hotel, and we will make sure that it is the last,” the hotel management said.
It said it can “only make up for it by being an exemplar of compliance moving forward.”
“Any employee found errant by commission or omission will be dealt with severely to deter a repeat of what happened,” the management added.
Earlier, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the guest managed to skip the quarantine thanks to “connections” and even attended a party in Makati a day after her arrival from the US.
The Tourism secretary said in a radio interview that the hotel first lied about the guest’s whereabouts when asked, but those who tipped off the government showed signed affidavits, pictures, and Tiktok videos of her in attendance in the party to prove they were telling the truth.
“Dahil sa kapabayaan niya, nahawa niya mga kasama niya at ang mga kasama niya, nakahawa pa ng ibang tao,” Romulo-Puyat said.
In a radio interview, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the woman may have infected “about 15 people.”
It was still unclear, however, if the variant was the Omicron variant since her sample is still being subjected to genome sequencing.
The Bureau of Quarantine has said a complaint had been readied against the guest.
The hotel, meanwhile, the Tourism secretary said, has been served a notice to issue a response to the allegations within three days.