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DOT to assist affected employees of Sofitel; saddened by its impending closure
DOT to assist affected employees of Sofitel; saddened by its impending closure
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DOT to assist affected employees of Sofitel; saddened by its impending closure
by Karen Ow-Yong15 May 2024
Photo courtesy of Sofitel Philippine Plaza FB Page

MANILA – The Department of Tourism (DOT) expressed sadness by the impending closure cessation of operations of Sofitel Philippine Plaza and vows to assist affected employees to look for new employment.

This is after DOT Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco met with executives of the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila on Monday at the DOT Central Office in Makati City to discuss matters concerning the impending closure of the iconic property.

During the meeting, Secretary Frasco conveyed her sadness by the impending closure by the end of June 2024, but agrees with Sofitel management that the safety of employees and guest is of “paramount importance”.

“Thank you for all of the contributions that you, and the institution that is Sofitel, have made to the tourism industry. It is one that has seen our country through many seasons, and has stood the test of time. We are in complete agreement in terms of prioritizing worker and tourist safety as that is paramount over and above anything else,” the Secretary said.

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Frasco also expressed her dismay with the announcement, saying that the timing of the closure coincided with efforts of the Tourism Department to “elevate the status of Philippine tourism vis-à-vis our ASEAN counterparts.

"We are very dismayed with the announcement of the impending closure of Sofitel, being an icon of Philippine hospitality for nearly 50 years. We heard the news with much concern, especially that we view our hotel and accommodation sector as a critical component of the industry, especially now that we are making efforts to elevate the status of Philippine tourism vis-a-vis our ASEAN counterparts,” she noted.

Frasco then mentioned her appreciation for having a dialogue with the executives of Sofitel so that she may know the context of the closure announcement, and to express grave concern for the employees that will be affected by the closure.

The tourism chief then extended DOT’s assistance to those who will be losing their livelihood upon the closure of the hotel, giving instructions to the department’s NCR office, to assist Sofitel in the job fairs to be held for the affected employees.

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Photo courtesy of Department of Tourism (DOT)

Meanwhile, Esteban G. Peña Sy, President of Philippine Plaza Holdings, Inc. and owner of Sofitel Philippine Plaza, remains optimistic of future developments for the hotel and expressed his gratitude for the DOT’s offer of assistance.

He said that separation packages would be offered to affected employees, and job training seminars “so they will be adequately equipped” as they transition to new roles, Sy added.

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Sofitel Hotels and Resorts are a French hotel chain of luxury hotels based in Paris, France, and owned by Accor.

Also present during the meeting are Philippine Plaza Holdings, Inc. Director Shunsuke Nakata, Sofitel Director of Conference and Events Cynthia Esteban, and DOT officials Undersecretary Shahlimar Hofer Tamano, NCR Regional Director Sharlene Batin, Director Ina Zara-Loyola, and Head Executive Assistant Glenn Ocampo.

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