The Philippine Hotel Owners Association said Thursday the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) owed quarantine hotels used by returning overseas Filipino workers P1.7 billion.
The group’s executive director Benito Bengzon Jr. disclosed over TeleRadyo they had 84 hotels which operated quarantine isolations during the pandemic, with collectibles delayed by 30 to 60 days to as much as 120 days.
In a separate interview, OWWA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said he had met with PHOA members to address their concerns.
Cacdac said the members of the group expressed concern that the payment might be glossed over because of the political election season, but stressed that the debt would be addressed, without mentioning any time frame.
At the same time, addressing the members’ questions, he said there was a fund of P11.4 billion to cover various issues including emergency repatriation.
He said his office had paid P2.5 billion and was waiting for the P1.74 billion tranche this month from the Department of Budget and Management.
He said he also asked the hotels to bear with them as they await the cash to be disbursed.
For his part, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the government intended to pay the hotels, adding they would not run away from their obligation.