Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso on Wednesday thanked hotel and motel operators and owners, and other types of accommodation in the city for housing medical front-liners for free amid the pandemic.

In a meeting with hotel operators at the City Hall, Domagoso said despite being one of the hardest-hit industries by the Covid-19, owners of accommodation facilities offered to help without asking anything in return.

“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.

Domagoso said these hotels, motels, inns, dorms, and even apartments were affected since day one of the Covid-19 outbreak.

He said these facilities were even used by the city to house even private and national hospital employees.

“Since day one, wala na kayong kita (you have lost earnings). You really suffered severely as an industry. Mano pa, Manila was the first to come up with an executive order requesting each of you to help our medical front-liners to accommodate them,” he said.

Domagoso issued Executive Order No. 17 in March, asking hotels and motels in Manila to provide free lodging for healthcare workers based in facilities in the nation's capital.

EO 17 mandates all motels and hotels in the city of Manila "as a staging area of health workers of the six city hospitals of Manila and other national government hospitals located within the city of Manila”.

Meanwhile, Domagoso led the turnover of tax credit certificates worth PHP100,000 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."

“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 understand that this is not enough, but you can use this small privilege or incentives in your business)," he said.

Domagoso also offered the city’s free drive-thru and walk-in Covid-19 testing centers for the employees of these accommodations.

Data from Manila’s Bureau of Permits show that more than 1,000 healthcare workers benefited from the free lodging as a result of the executive order.

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