By Junex Doronio
April 10, 2021
MANILA — Despite their usage as quarantine facilities for returning and outbound Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) waiting for their COVID-19 test results, most Metro Manila hotels claim they are still in the red, losing up to 80 to 90 percent of their original income forecasts a ranking official said.
This was revealed on Saturday, April 10, by Philippine Hotel Owners Association (PHOA) president Arthur Lopez as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to ravage the tourism industry.
“Revenues of the hotels ay bumagsak ng about 80 to 90 percent so at least ang nakukuha [namin sa] (what we get from) OWWA, we’re able to pay our employees who are working and pay electricity, as you know may electricity, may mga minimum usage, you don’t make the minimum kaya makakatulong malaki sa mga hotel (There is minimum usage, even if you don’t make the minimum, so this is big help for hotels),” Lopez bared.
He said the Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA) has currently booked all hotels in the National Capital Region (NCR) as quarantine facility for returning and outbound OFWs.
Under current travel protocols, OFWs are made to quarantine while waiting for their COVID-19 test results.
Lopez said OWWA has been paying for overhead costs such as employee salary and utility costs.
Earlier, the PHOA had complained that its buildings are already at full capacity following the appeal of the Philippine College of Physicians to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to use hotels as quarantine facilities for local cases to decongest hospitals.
Lopez noted that the Philippine Red Cross is setting up isolation facilities and that PHOA has been donating materials such as beddings and food.
“All hotels are fully booked because OWWA has taken these hotels for the OFWs that are returning back to the country. So wala na kaming mai-allot na hotel para gawing isolation facilities, (So we cannot allot more hotels to make isolation facilities.) ” Lopez said.
He pointed out that it would be “very difficult” to convert these hotels to hospitals due to different building operating requirements.
“To convert the hotels to hospitals that would be very difficult… Mas maraming detalye ang kailangan like operating rooms,” Lopez said. (AI/MTVN)