DOT: Another Filipina from US skips quarantine, posts massage session on social media
The Department of Tourism (DOT) is currently investigating other reports of quarantine breach as another returning overseas Filipino was nabbed for skipping mandatory isolation.
Authorities learned of what she did after she posted it on her social media account.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said on Monday, Jan. 3, that the arrested quarantine violator went straight to her condominium unit after arriving from the United States without undergoing the required quarantine.
“She didn’t even check in a hotel, she just said that she checked in this hotel but it showed that she never even checked in a hotel, dumiretso sa condo niya (she went straight to her condo),” Puyat said in an interview.
According to Puyat, the violator’s arrest stemmed from a sworn affidavit submitted by a concerned individual to the DOT which the agency then verified and confirmed.
Puyat said the violator, whose name was not disclosed, even took a massage and shared it on social media.
“She showed the picture that she just arrived, then she showed a picture of her condo, and that night she showed na nagpapamasahe na siya in her condo. Proud na proud pa siya na she skipped quarantine (she’s having a massage in her condo. She is very proud that she skipped quarantine),” Puyat bared.
The DOT chief said the woman already admitted to have skipped quarantine and is now under the custody of authorities.
“I gave [the details] already to the BOQ (Bureau of Quarantine) and the DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) and I will leave it up to them,” she added.
Puyat said the DOT has been receiving reports on quarantine violations after a Filipina was able to skip quarantine and attended a party in Poblacion, Makati. She later turned out to be COVID positive and those who came in close contact with her have also been infected.
The traveler, which has since been identified as Gwyneth Chua, was supposed to be under a mandatory quarantine in Berjaya Hotel Makati after arriving from the United States.
The DOT said the hotel initially denied that Chua skipped quarantine and claimed that she was in the hotel since Dec. 22 and when she was declared COVID positive on Dec. 27.
However, Puyat said the DOT received signed affidavits and screenshots of social media posts showing that Chua attended the party and even boasted of having “connections.”
In a statement on Jan. 1, the Berjaya confirmed the reports and apologized for “failing to stop the guest from jumping her quarantine.”
“This was the only incident of its kind in the nearly two years that we have sewed as a quarantine hotel, and we will make sure that it is the last,” it added.
The management also assured that any employee found to be involved in the issue will be “dealt with severely.”
The Department already issued a show cause order against Berjaya regarding the quarantine breach and is now waiting for their reply.