BAGUIO CITY – The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, requested hotels, restaurants and other similar establishments in the city who have pending reservations for room accommodations, function halls for events such as weddings and baptisms among others to consider the same automatically cancelled due to the wrath of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic.
Under Resolution No. 366, series of 2020, signed by Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, local legislators proposed to the aforesaid establishments reservations made with advance or full payments be either refunded or re-scheduled in accordance to clients’ preference.
The council pointed in the prevailing crisis situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the interest of both clients must be protected and the concerned establishments as well as their safety, in the light of the existing health and safety protocols to prevent the rapid spread of the virus in the city.
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Before the occurrence of the COVID-19 late last year, the council recognized there were numerous lodging and accommodation reservations made in the different hotels, restaurants and other similar establishments for various events such as weddings, baptisms and other desired services where organizers have already paid to the management of the establishments the required reservation fees, down payment or even paid their obligations in full.
However, the said reservations for the desired services were all left pending and unlikely to be realized because of the observance of the community quarantine as one measure to contain the spread of the COVID-19 in the city.
Under the guidelines for modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), accommodation establishments, restaurants and similar businesses are allowed to operate on a 50 percent capacity as part of the ongoing transition to the new normal situation.
The council noted some complaints from individuals and groups that have placed reservations and paid their required reservation fees in hotels, restaurants and other similar establishments, that the management of the said businesses allegedly refuse to refund the fees they have paid despite repeated demand as the same has been considered by the owners as forfeited.
According to city legislators, while they understand the difficult situation the business owners are situated because of the situation created by the global pandemic, it is also important for them to understand the predicament of the individuals and groups who have also been heavily impacted by the implementation of the community quarantine for over three months because of the loss of their jobs or their livelihood.
The council stipulated concerned sectors need to understand the difficulty situation impacted on everyone thus it is best for the clients and management of hotels, restaurants and similar establishments to agree on possibly refunding the paid reservation fees or re-schedule the date of the events as a ‘ win-win solution’ to the said situation.
By Dexter A. See
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