The Shangri-La Group said Wednesday it will lay off a number of employees and temporarily close the 696-room Makati Shangri-La, Manila Hotel in Makati City amid the increasing financial pressure brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
"As part of the reorganisation exercise, we will sadly be parting ways with a number of colleagues and we will be temporarily closing Makati Shangri-La, Manila," the hotel's management said in a statement.
Shangri-La Group vice president for Philippine operations John Rice said in a separate letter Makati Shangri-La, Manila would be temporarily closed on Feb. 1, 2021.
It said that throughout the unprecedented pandemic, its priority was to preserve as many jobs as possible for its teams.
"To mitigate the financial impact brought about by the pandemic, multiple cost management initiatives have been implemented including salary reductions at management level, implementing shorter work weeks, hiring freeze and cuts in non-essential spending," it said in a statement.
Makati Shangri La, one of the largest and most visited hotels in the Philippines, said that for the past 10 months, it provided assistance for rank and file to help them through the challenging period.
"Despite our best efforts, the prolonged recovery timeline has resulted in increasing financial pressure on the company here in the Philippines. Owing to continued low business levels and having considered all viable options over weeks of consideration and deliberation, we unfortunately must now make the extremely difficult decision to reorganize our workforce and operations in the Philippines as we continue to navigate an uncertain business environment," it said.
The company said its employees take tremendous pride in their work and the management greatly values their hard work, dedication and contributions.
"Every effort is being made to support all our affected colleagues through this transition, including providing a fair compensation package that is higher than local statutory guidelines and extending healthcare coverage and grocery support until Dec. 31, 2021 to provide affected employees and their families peace of mind during these uncertain times. We are also providing colleagues with career transition assistance to help them get back on their feet," it said.
The Shangri-La Group said it enjoyed strong support in the Philippines for nearly 30 years.
"We are grateful for this and would like to assure everyone we remain deeply committed to our presence here in the market, and to the communities we are a part of," it said.
"We continue to vigilantly monitor local and global developments and look forward to reopening Makati Shangri-La, Manila at a later date when business conditions have improved," it said.
Rice said in a letter to Philippine Hotel Owners Association president Arthur Lopez the hotel might reopen at a later date once "business conditions have improved."
Other Shangri La properties in the Philippines are Edsa Shangri-La Hotel in Ortigas, Shangri-La at the Fort in Taguig City, Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort and Spa, Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa, Cebu
It also manages Hotel JEN Manila in Pasay City.
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