Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat announced on October 21 that the DOT has been given the authority by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to determine the allowable operational capacity (up to 100%) for hotels. This authority includes staycation hotels in areas classified under a modified community quarantine (MGCQ) and general community quarantine (GCQ).
However, Secretary Puyat stressed that “the decision to open at 100% operational capacity will be subject to the hotel management’s decision and compliance with the safety guidelines”.
The announcement comes on the heels of the IATF-EID’s approval of Resolution No. 79 last October 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.
For accommodation establishments in areas declared to be under MGCQ, Resolution No. 79 provides that the DOT shall determine their allowable operational capacity from the previous provision for a maximum of 50% operational capacity. Operational capacity is defined by IATF as such number of employees who can be permitted to physically report to work on-site.
“Also approved in the said resolution is the easing up of interzonal and intrazonal movement, which is the predicate to reviving domestic tourism. 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.”, Secretary Puyat said.
The Tourism Chief said that the DOT shall soon issue the amended guidelines for the expanded operational capacity of hotels including staycation hotels. Earlier, Puyat directed all hotels and other tourism establishments in areas declared to be under GCQ to secure a DOT Certificate of Authority to Operate for Staycations (DCAOS) prior to accommodating any guests for that purpose.