City probes hotel food poisoning incident


The City Legal Office (CLO) said early this week it is investigating a complaint filed by a guest at one of the city’s prime hotels who claimed he had suffered from food poisoning while they were at the establishment.

Atty. Mawie Palatino, CLO Attorney IV, told Palawan News on Monday they received a complaint filed by Engr. Arnel Ayala in March against Hue Hotel.

“The complaint is still under investigation, possibly this month ay matapos namin and we will issue a resolution also,” Palatino said.

He said they are investigating if the hotel violated any laws and ordinances.

“Hindi pa muna kami makapag-comment kasi iniimbestigahan pa. Kung ano naman ang issue or problem between the hotel and Mr. Ayala ay wala na kami doon basta ang sa amin dito ay kung may nalabag ba sila sa local ordinance natin,” he said.

On March 1, Ayala was hospitalized for five days after eating a chicken dish at Hue Hotel in Puerto Princesa City.

A medical certificate issued by the Cooperative Hospital dated March 6, 2019, said the diagnosis of the patient was acute gastroenteritis with mild dehydration secondary to food poisoning (possible salmonella infection).

Ayala told Palawan News on Monday that they had a food tasting activity at the hotel supposedly for his eldest daughter’s debut on May 26.

Ayala, with his wife and 3-year old daughter, went to the hotel at around 10 a.m. where egg soup, pancit canton, fish fillet and breast chicken with mushroom were served.

Ayala said that he did not feel well and had an upset stomach an hour after eating.

“Marami sana [kaming] tinitingnan na hotel pero sabi ng daughter ko sa Hue Hotel na lang. So ayon, ‘yong araw na ‘yon na schedule for food tasting and that’s the time din na magco-confirm kami. Magdo-down para sa package. Dumating kami before 10 a.m., ‘yong daughter and wife ko kasi nag-breakfast sila bago umalis ng bahay, ako naman coffee lang. Noong na-serve nila ang soup and pancit canton nag-complain na ako kasi medyo maalat. Then, sunod ang chicken at ang napansin ko doon ay medyo maalat din, ang wife ko kasi hindi mahilig sa chicken and ‘yong daughter ko naman pancit canton and soup lang. Pagkatapos kumain siguro tumagal pa kami kasi nakiki-wifi si wife hanggang sa sabi ko medyo sumasama ang tiyan ko kaya nakigamit ako ng CR nila, nag-stay pa kami, umalis kami doon mga past 12 na pero hindi ko na maintindihan ang pakiramdam ko,” he said.

Ayala said that bad feeling continued even after taking Erceflora as advised by his wife.

“The whole day noon okay pa naman, pinasyal ko pa ang parents ko sa SM pero that time pinapawisan na ako na giniginaw, alam naman natin kapag masama na ang pakiramdam pero sabi ko baka trangkaso lang. Pag-uwi namin ng bahay bandang 8 p.m., sabi ng daughter ko mainit ako. Hindi ko na maintindihan kasi wala naman akong sipon bakit ako lalagnatin, nag-LBM na ako at nagsuka. Ang wife ko kasi doctor kaya sabi nya mag-Erceflora ka na for diarrhea, that time hindi pa naman namin naiisip na food poison or ano. Medyo naging okay ako pero bumalik ulit, tuloy-tuloy ang LBM at nagsusuka. Sabi ng wife ko, food poison pero sabi ko prior to that wala akong ibang pinuntahan,” Ayala pointed out.

After days of suffering, Ayala was admitted at the Cooperative Hospital.

“Yong wife ko sinabihan na niya ang kausap namin sa hotel, ‘yong nagaayos ng event na nag-LBM ang mister ko basta lagi niyang ina-update. Sabi naman most probably baka sa chicken. Pero parang humanap pa kami ng second opinion sa City Health and ang diagnosis ay food poison na at mild dehydration. After three days, grabe na, kapag tumatayo ako nahihilo na ako, nagsusuka ako. Ayaw ko kasi magpa-ospital, nagtatalo na kami. Hanggang sa dinala na ako sa Cooperative Hospital ‘yon pala moderate dehydration na ako, electrolyte imbalance, then crack na ang lips ko kaya na-confine ako,” Ayala said.

He said that the diagnosis is still food poisoning.

Representatives of the hotel visited and asked him to give the exact compensation they needed.

“Ang tagal ko sa ER, eh… lumabas ang result, ganoon pa rin food poisoning pa rin. That time, binisita ako ng representative ng Hue, nakikipag-usap naman sila. Parang in-insist nila na sabihin kung magkano ang compensation na gusto ko. Sabi ko naman hindi kami magsasabi kasi hindi pa nga ako magaling. Isa pa, sabi ko sa kanila kayo na ang bahala kung ilan ang gusto nyo kasi hindi naman kami ganoon. Aminin lang nila ang pagkakamali nila. E coli ang nakita sa akin eh,” Ayala said.

“Sobrang stress ko sabi ko ano ba ang gagawin kasi ganoon pa rin ang sinasabi nila. Mag-letter daw ako, that time may kausap na rin ako na lawyer at sabi ko sa kanila [Hue Hotel representative] lawyer ko na ang gagawa ng letter pero ang sabi nila nila kapag lawyer na, nasa legal na ‘yan hindi na daw kami makakapagsettle. Then handwritten lang ang letter, after daw maisubmit ay babalik sila ng 5pm para i-settle ang hospital bills pero wala ng sumagot, hindi sila bumalik,” he added.

However, Ayala said that the hotel responded to his letter saying they will not give any compensation.

“Nakauwi na ako may inabot na letter from their representative, a letter from lawyer na sinasabi nila hindi na nila ise-settle ‘yan. Samantalang sila mismo ang nagsabi na ‘wag sa legal. Hindi namin sila piniperahan kaya nag-consult kami sa lawyer ko. Nag-letter kami ulit then hanggang after Holy Week naman ‘yan wala na kaming natatanggap na reply,” he said.

“Ang sinasabi kasi nila hindi ko doon nakuha [kaya ayaw nila magbigay ng compensation or umamin sa mali nila] pero alam ko na pagkakain ko pa lang doon saglit lang sumama na ang tiyan ko. Ngayon inaantay natin kung ano ang actions ng legal office pero sabi ko kapag hindi pa rin nag-reply sa letter we will take legal action na talaga,” he said.

His daughter’s debut was celebrated on June 1 instead of May 26 at Hotel Centro.

Ayala and his family reported the incident to the City Tourism Office and City Sanitation.

“Nagreport kami sa City Sanitation noong March 3 pero napuntahan na nila March 10 na, after a week na, ano pa ang makikita nila. Right after may complaint dyan lilinisin na lahat. March 27 nagkaroon ulit ng inspection pero wala na talaga. Sinasabi na malinis ang kitchen nila pero kahit malinis ‘yan kung contaminated naman ang food mo, hindi mo alam kung ang nagpe-prepare ng food kung malinis din,” he said.

The incident report in the city tourism was also forwarded to the CLO for investigation.

“Naipaabot din namin to sa City Tourism at binigay nila sa legal and mga April 10, pinatawag kami ng legal but lawyer ko ang humarap kasi may inaasikaso ako. Sabi nila hindi sila pwedeng makialam sa amin but mag-iimbestiga lang at kung may makita nga ay may mga certain penalties. Siguro kung ano ang findings ng legal ay ifo-forward din sa tourism then may sanctions din sila,” he said.

According to Ayala, the Hue Hotel management has denied all his accusations.

Michie Meneses, city tourism promotions and marketing division chief, said that all actions and recommendations will come from the City Legal Office.

“Nai-forward na siya sa legal, wala na sa amin. Wala na kami doon,” she said.

In addition, Christian Guballa, general manager of Hue Hotel Palawan, said they will release an official statement this week.

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