Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Wednesday personally thanked the owners and operators of hotels, motels, and other accommodation who housed medical frontliners for free without asking for anything in return.
“Since day one, wala na kayong kita (you have not been earning). You really suffered severely as an industry. Manila was the first to come up with an executive order requesting each of you to help our medical frontliners to accommodate them,” Domagoso said in a speech delivered at the City Council session hall.
“Most of you went to us voluntarily, and I am grateful for that. It cost you millions, but you did not ask for a single cent. On behalf of our doctors, nurses, hospital staff who were accommodated in your place of business, we thank you. I cannot thank you enough,” he said.
As an expression of gratitude by the Manila City government, Domagoso led the turnover of tax credit certificates worth ₱100,000 to owners of
hotels, motels, inns, dormitories and apartments.
Under Ordinance No. 8646, the tax credit “may be applied on all forms of local business taxes, regulatory fees and services including the appropriate surcharge and penalty interests.”
“Ang sabi ko (sa City Council), let’s meet them halfway as a matter of token of appreciation. We came up with (the tax credit) upon consultation with Licenses Division chief Atty. Paul Vega and Bureau of Permits director Levi Facundo,” Domagoso said.
While the mayor admitted that “P100,000 is not enough,” he said it is the Manila City government’s way of showing that “we are being true to our word when we say thank you.”
“Pagpasensyahan niyo po, ito lang po ang nakayanan namin, hindi man po malaki, pero tiyak po magagamit niyo po itong konting pribilehiyo o incentives sa bawat negosyo (Please bear with us, this is only what we can afford, this may not be big but we are sure that you can use these little privileges or incentives in your businesses),” Domagoso said.
Likewise, Domagoso said that medical frontliners are able to give back not only to the accommodation operators but also the entire city through free
drive-thru and walk-in mass testing centers.
“Your taxes will go back to you, without spending a single cent, by having your employees tested in our drive-thru COVID-19 serology testing,” Domagoso said.
“I guarantee you, that whatever we’re doing right now, scientifically and independently audited by known institutions in the world, that the machines we’re using in mass testing is better than the regular rapid test kits,” he said.
To recall, Domagoso issued Executive Order No. 17 commandeering hotels and motels in Manila to provide free lodging for healthcare workers based in facilities in the nation’s capital.
“[I] do hereby order all the motels and hotels in the city of Manila to accommodate the health workers of 6 hospitals of Manila, including those of the national government hospitals, as their staging area in going to and coming from city hospitals and national government hospitals,” Domagoso
said in a Facebook live address on March 18.
According to the Bureau of Permits, over 1,000 healthcare workers were provided free lodging as a result of the Mayor’s executive order.