OWWA vows to immediately settle debts in hotel quarantine facilities for OFWs

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Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Administrator Hans Cacdac said that they are already addressing the unpaid bills for hotel quarantine facilities being used by returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Cacdac said in a text message that they have paid Php2 billion to hotels so far and created a group to handle remaining unpaid debts hotel billings.

“We’ve paid Php2.3 billion in bills thus far. There is also a creation of a 24/7 task force to fast-track payments. We shall work on the list given and pay allowable expenses within 7 days,” Cacdac said.

This, after an organization of hotels in the Philippines said that some of their members may decide not to accept OFWs who need to undergo quarantine due OWWA’s unpaid debt amounting to Php241 million.

The OWWA chief added that they have found erroneous claims on the bills sent to them, reason that took time before paying the hotel bills.

“At the same time, we ensure utmost review of documents, as we find that many submissions have erroneous computations and double-entry of names,” Cacdac added.

Earlier, Hotel Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA) President Christine Ann U. Ibarreta said in a report in Business Mirror that they have yet to decide if they will follow the footsteps of Philippine Red Cross (PRC) which stopped their swab testing services for OFWs after PhilHealth failed to pay its debt.

PRC has resumed last week its swab test services for OFWs after receiving PHP500 million partial payment from the state insurer.

“We will try to accommodate their needs, but at some point, we might have to do just that if Owwa continues to refuse paying our hotels. Our establishments need the income to pay our employees,” Ibarreta said.

“There were companies which were unable to give the employees’ salaries because they were waiting for OWWAS’s payments,” she added.

According to Ibarreta, the following hotels have yet to receive payment from OWWA:
Sofitel Philippine Plaza, P45 million
Golden Phoenix, P36 million
Seda Residences Makati, P9.5 million
Astorias Ortigas and Makati, P11 million Linden Suites, P19.3 million
Luxent Hotel, P12.9 million
Ace Hotels, P6 million
Quest Tagaytay, P3.2 million
Discovery Suites, P3 million
Hotel Rembrandt, P7 million
Microtel/Tryp by Wyndham P26.5 million Midas Hotel, P4.1 million
Azumi Boutique Hotel, P3.5 million
One Pacific Place, P11.7 million
Quest Hotel Cebu, P15.7 million
Crimson Hotel Filinvest, P5 million
Marco Polo Cebu, P473,000
Chateau Royale, P4 million

RELATED NEWS: Hotels may stop accepting returning OFWs due to OWWA’s Php241 million debt, report says

Staff Report

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