Sep 28, 2020

Controversial Cuna hotel issues public apology

(File photo)

Cuna Hotel in El Nido has issued a public apology over the acts committed by some of its employees during the implementation of the closure order of the municipal government.

A copy of the public apology sent to Palawan News said the Cuna hotel management assures that the new water treatment facility will operate properly.

“Nais ng pangasiwaan ng Cuna Hotel na humingi ng paunmanhin para sa abala at istorbo na nangyari ilang buwan ang nakaraan. Makatitiyak na ang aming pag-upgrade ng bagong water treatment facility ay maaasahan at mahusay. Sisiguraduhin din namin na mapanatili ang sistemang ito sa mabuting kondisyon,” it said.

It also said that they have already imposed disciplinary actions on some of their employees involved in an incident with the local government employees who implemented the closure order on March 8, 2019.

They also said that they will cooperate in the advocacy of the government in protecting the environment.

“Ang pangasiwaan ng Cuna Hotel ay ipinatawag at dinisiplina ang mga kawani ng hotel na nagpakita ng hindi magandang asal saa mga otoridad ng lokal na pamahalaan. Mananatili hanggang sa huli sa pagiging aktibong katulong ng pamahalaan sa pagprotekta ng kapaligiran,” it added.

In Executive Order No. 19-008 issued on March, Mayor Nieves Rosento ordered the permanent closure of the hotel for operating without a business permit, no occupancy permit, illegal discharge of untreated wastewater, disposing of untreated wastewater to the nearby barangays causing discomfort and pollution, no test result of its safe water quality and defiance of the hotel management to the closure order.

On March 9, Rosento with municipal tourism officer Arvin Acosta and other municipal officials personally went to the hotel to implement the order.

Earlier, the mayor issued a temporary closure order on the hotel but its management filed a case against the municipal government instead of complying with the requirements.

The 20- day temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the court to already lapsed in February this year.

“Nag-issue tayo ng order na kailangan ihinto ang kanilang operation. Itong Cuna ay binigyan natin ng temporary closure order noong mga nakaraan kung saan tayo pa ay kinasuhan sa korte. Then binigyan sila ng court 20 days na TRO pero hanggang ngayon walang court order. But tapos na ang TRO nila kaya dapat nagco-comply na sila then hindi naman sila nagstop ng operation. They don’t have any barangay clearance and business permit,” she said.

The following week, Rosento issued another order informing the Cuna Hotel management that they will be closed if they continue accepting guests.

She said the management of the hotel, however, refused to provide the names of their guests.

The management offered assistance to the affected guests and advised them to transfer to other hotels.

Meanwhile, Rosento clarified that they have no other motive behind the closure but the compliance of environmental laws since the town is under a six-month Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) order.

“Masyadong nagmamatigas itong management, we want to show them, dahil mayroong batas na sinusunod sa El Nido on the protection of the environment. We are now in the rehabilitation process tapos ganito kalaking establishment ay magkakaroon ng violation. If they are complaining walang problema, but ang masakit doon violator kana nag-file ka pa ng case against the government,” Rosento said.

Rene Jay De la Calzada said Thursday the municipal government and management of the hotel were both agreed to settle the issue through a public apology instead of legal action.

The management of the hotel is also fixing their sewerage treatment plan, he said.

“We came into compromise agreement na lang dahil nagco-comply naman na sila sa sewarage treatment plan. Naglabas din sila ng public apology dahil sa mga nangyari nakaraan, nakita rin nila na masyadong magastos kung legal action pa kaya nagkaroon nalang kami ng agreement,” he pointed out.

He said the management is also committed to shouldering the construction of one drainage system and will conduct a medical mission due to the discomfort made recently.

De la Calzada also clarified that the hotel will still undergo the proper process in the application for mayor’s permit.

“Kung mag-a-apply na sila ng mayor’s permit katulad pa rin ‘yan sa iba ang proseso. Magsasagawa rin sila ng mga aktibidad kasama ang medical missions at sila ang gagastos sa isang stretch ng drainage in support sa ating munisipyo,” he said.

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