Hotel officials charged for denying senior citizen’s discount
MANILA, Philippines – The Pasig City Prosecutors Office has filed two cases against two officials of a hotel in Pasig City for not granting a 20 percent discount to a senior citizen.
In a 22-page resolution, charged for violation of Section 4 (a)(7) of Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 and Article 116 of Republic Act 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines are the president of the corporation that owns the hotel and its finance director.
The case was filed at the Metropolitan Trial Court of Pasig City, and the bail was set at P36,000 each for their temporary liberty.
Senior citizen Melinda Rada filed the complaint after the hotel management failed to grant her a discount after checking in on November 25, 2022.
Upon checkout on November 27, 2022, she asked for her 12 percent value-added tax (VAT) exemption and 20 percent discount as a senior citizen.
However, the hotel only granted the 12 percent VAT discount but not the senior citizen’s discount because the rate is already on “promo.”
Winter Promotion Rate
During the preliminary investigation, the corporation president said Rada checked into the hotel through an online travel agency (OTA) and availed of the “Winter Promotion Rate.”
The hotel and the OTA have a contract regarding the Winter Promotion Rate, which Rada has availed of.
The hotel official added that failure to give the 20 percent discount was never intentional and not malicious.
But the prosecutor’s resolution said that a defense of good faith is immaterial for violations of special laws such as the Expanded Senior Citizens Act and Consumer Act.
“It is well-settled in criminal jurisprudence that failure to comply with the law, being malum prohibitum (wrong in itself), intent to commit it or good faith is immaterial,” read the resolution.
It added, “in this case, the answer to the query is Yes. The law, RA 9994 has been violated.”
The hotel offering to compensate Rada with an overnight stay for two persons plus a refund of the 20 percent discount “is actually a mere afterthought.”
“This offer was made after the commission of the crime.”
On booking through an OTA with an existing promo agreement with the hotel, the prosecutor said Rada was not part of the contract.
“The existing contract does not apply to the complainant (Rada) because she is not privy to the same. Complainant or the public for that matter, which the law seeks to protect, are not aware of the same,” it said.
The resolution also noted that the hotel was not able to show any permit from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) that they are allowed to conduct a promo.
“Failure to show an application for the promotion campaign or activity is fatal (to the hotel) the resolution stated.
Regarding Rada’s condition of donating P250,000 to any organization of senior citizens instead of an overnight stay for her and a companion, the hotel official said such demand is a form of “extortion,”
Rada’s condition to donate the amount was to partly assuage the damages caused to other seniors who checked in at the hotel.
The prosecutor said even if the demand may seem unreasonable, “the same does not downplay the liability of the hotel and its officials.”
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.