A GROWING SENTIMENT to place Mega Manila (Metro Manila + outlying provinces such as Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Romblon, and Quezon provinces (CALABARZON) under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) is snowballing. The sentiment was brought out by tired, fatigued health care workers whose stress and pressures in caring for more COVID-19 victims in official and makeshift medical facilities are reaching a condition where their health and physical condition may breakdown. Doctors, nurses, medical technicians are front-liners caring for the people’s health and in turn, it affects the country’s economy. 

Officers and Members of the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) calls on the national government to act decisively and immediately to help all medical professionals

If and when the government decides to put us back to ECQ, CROSSROADS HOSTEL MANILA WILL CONTINUE TO OPEN and be of service to other front-liners in the country such as businesses that should still continue to serve and open.

To help all our potential guests, the following protocols will be applied as provided by the Tourism Department (DOT) thru the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

Guests we can accommodate:

  1. Transiting foreign guests;
  2. Distressed OFWs;
  3. Quarantine-bound Repatriated OFWs;
  4. Quarantine-bound Non-OFWs;
  5. All-types of Government workers;
  6. Health care workers and ECQ-allowed types of workers in ECQ zones 

Under ECQ and when checked-in in the hostel, remember that we’re not allowed to do the following for guests:

  1. Provide daily housekeeping. Cleaning and sanitation of rooms shall be conducted only as may be necessary;
  2. Open ancillary establishments such as restaurants and cafés but can prepare
    1. (i) packed meals for distribution to guests who opt for the same; and
    2. (ii) food orders for take-out and deliveries only.

Additionally, under ECQ (under Section 12 of the same DOT order), shared-room preferences will not be given to Health care professionals and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). They have to pay for one room, which is still more affordable than other accommodations by 30%.

We hope this article helps re-condition the minds of our would-be guests. It’s not as different as GCQ but under ECQ, only few businesses will open. Do you have any questions? Let us help you. Click the link and ask us with the help of the Facebook button found here in this article. #hostelshelp


/Photos by GMA News (main photo), John Louie Netro (artwork), PCP (artwork), JV Ejercity (tired med professionals photo)

An independent artist, John Louie Netro, made this work to dramatize the plight of our medical workers in Mega Manila. CNN Philippines featured this artwork in their Facebook post.

To our guests’ benefit, we’re publishing the text of the Administrative Order 2020-002-A send to us by the DOT issued June 9th, 2020.

II. GUIDELINES FOR ACCOMMODATION ESTABLISHMENTS IN AREAS UNDER ENHANCED COMMUNITY QUARANTINE (ECQ)

Section 8. Permitted guests under ECQ. – Accommodation Establishments in areas declared to be under ECQ are allowed to accommodate only the following: (a) Guests who had existing bookings or reservations under any Accommodation Establishment within Luzon as of 17 March 2020, and outside Luzon as of 01 May 2020; (b) Foreign Guests who are transiting through, or are otherwise temporarily staying in the Philippines for a short period and will leave the country; (c) Long Staying Guests; (d) Distressed OFWs; (e) Repatriated OFWs in compliance with approved quarantine protocols; (f) Non-OFWs who may be required to undergo mandatory facility-based quarantine; (g) Stranded Passengers; (h) Employees of agencies and instrumentalities of the Government, including Government-Owned and –Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) and Local Government Units (LGUs), especially health and emergency frontline, border control, and other critical services workers; and (i) Health care workers and other employees from establishments that are allowed to operate during the ECQ pursuant to the IATF Omnibus Guidelines; provided, that their place of work is located within the same ECQ zone.

Section 9. New Bookings under ECQ. – Except for Long Staying Guests, new bookings of guests falling under Section 8 shall be allowed.

Section 10. Prohibited Bookings under ECQ. – No Accommodation Establishment in an ECQ zone shall provide accommodation for persons undertaking leisure travel.

Section 11. Limited Operations under ECQ. –Accommodation Establishments in ECQ zones shall operate only to provide basic accommodation services to guests and food preparation services for take-out and delivery to the public. For this purpose: (a) Room service shall not be allowed; (b) Daily housekeeping shall not be implemented. Cleaning and sanitation of rooms shall be conducted only as may be necessary; (c) Only a Skeleton Workforce which shall be composed of In House Staff shall be retained; and (d) Ancillary establishments within the premises, such as restaurants, cafés, bars, gyms, spas, and the like, shall not be allowed to operate or to provide room service; provided, that Accommodation Establishments may prepare (i) packed meals for distribution to guests who opt for the same; and (ii) food orders for take-out and delivery only.

Section12. Conditions for Room Occupancy under ECQ. – Accommodation Establishments in ECQ zones shall ensure that the following conditions for room occupancy, as required by the DOH, are met: (a) OFWs and Health Workers shall be accommodated in single occupancy rooms. For avoidance of doubt, single occupancy shall mean only one person shall be accommodated in each room. (b) Other guests may be accommodated in double occupancy rooms, provided the following are observed: 1. Distance between the beds should be at least two (2) meters; 2. A divider should be placed between the beds; 3. A bathroom schedule must be observed. Only one person shall be permitted to use the bathroom at any given time; 4. Guests shall disinfect the bathroom after every use using the provided sanitation kit; 5. There shall be no sharing of food or any personal or non-personal belongings; 6. All trash, food and non-food, shall be separated. (c) Each room shall be provided with a sanitation kit which guests shall use to regularly disinfect commonly accessed surfaces and items such as door knobs, light switches, the bathroom sink, etc. (d) When in the Accommodation Establishment, guests shall be confined to their rooms. Mingling with occupants of other rooms shall not be allowed. (e) Guests shall use the same bed and the same room they are billeted in throughout the entire period of their stay.

Accommodation Establishments shall likewise comply with other issuances and guidelines on Minimum Public Health Standards.

The Trade Department head, Sec. Ramon Lopez, announced over DZMM Teleradyo this morning that businesses in areas where businesses such as fitness centers, internet cafes, tutorial and review centers, and drive-in cinemas will open under certain restrictions and only in areas where GCQ (General Community Quarantine) is declared. For starters, some of these businesses will open at 30% capacity, Internet shops will open for education and work purposes only, still 30% capacity, drive-In cinemas are something new and will be implemented with supervision. Other businesses involved in grooming services (those involved in nail-care, skincare, and aesthetics) have also been allowed according to the government official.

Listed businesses must open on August 1 with 30% capacity only to manage spread of the disease (File, Anytime Fitness Shaw Boulevard)

Sec. Lopez also added that 30% is just the start and may increase business capacity to 50%, “Pero don’t worry katulad naman nung nangyari sa barbershops and dine-in restaurants, after a few weeks, kapag maganda ang compliance nila sa health protocol at sumusunod po sila don, may allowance tayo na mag-iincrease din ang capacity to 50 percent,” Lopez said.  (But let’s not worry because like the barbershops and dine-in restaurants, if the results turn out fine after a few weeks then we can increase the capacity (of these businesses) to 50 percent)

Businesses must open their business with much caution

This is definitely good news but protocols still have to be followed and proper health guidelines are entrusted to managers of these businesses to make sure the spread of the virus does not increase. The Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases has issued those guidelines. Employers must empower their staff and in return, employees must guide customers in implementing these rules strictly.

The implementation of this recent announcement will happen on Saturday, 1st August 2020.

Story Lead References:
Manila Bulletin, CNN Philippines and PDInquirer

OUR CONTACTLESS PAYMENT SOLUTIONS just improved ten folds with the inclusion of GrabPay in our methods of payment. Now, guests can have the convenience of booking their stay at the hostel using this app. 

How to book using GrabPay:

  1. Inquire for space availability at +639478957600 or FB Messenger us m.me/CrossroadsHostelManila
  2. Prepare to tell us the following information to hold a reservation for 24 hours
    1. Full government ID name
    2. Your mobile number
    3. Your email Address
    4. Check-in Date and Check-Out Date
  3. Confirm the amount to pay
  4. Get GrabPay QR Code from us (QR code expires after two (2) minutes)
  5. Scan the GrabPay QR code
It’s simple and one of the safest methods to carry money around

That’s it! Get the payment confirmation immediately and your confirmed itinerary booking from us — in your email — within the day.

You can also make purchases and payments in the hostel using the app. It’s a total payment solution you need while you’re staying with us.

Aside from Crossroads Hostel, GrabPay is accepted in booming eCommerce destinations like Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and The Philippines. It’s the fastest-growing digital wallet in Southeast Asia that provides security benefits that come with GrabPay security features.

For more information on how to use GrabPay in our hostel or how to acquire GrabPay on your mobile, call us at +639478957600 or email us at crossroadshostel@gmail.com and we’ll help you get one.

You can apply for GrabPay even without a bank account

This feature is now added after having BDO, PayPal, Palawan Express, LBC, and GCash as methods of payment to book your stay with us directly. Asia United Bank made it all possible with their payment solution, AUB Paymate. Such technology has now given MSME vendors more leverage in doing business with GrabPay account holders. Thank you AUB Paymate people! 

BUDGET CARRIER, Cebu Pacific, sent nine of its Airbuses this past week to the Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage (APAS) in Alice Springs, Australia. “This is the facility that stores aircraft. We need to ensure that it’s stored in a facility that’s really  equipped,” Candice Iyog, Cebu Pacific’s VP for Marketing and Distribution, told reporters during a recent virtual press chat. Seven A321CEOs and two A330s. Reports said that these planes have not flown for four months since the lockdown.

Cebu Pacific has 52 Airbuses and nine of these are now in Alice Springs, Australia

The flag carrier still plans to send more airlines to the said facilities but more studies have to be made. “Once the demand is back, we can easily bring back aircraft into the line,” Iyog added.

Cebu Pacific according to its corporate website has 72 planes in all in its fleet. This comprises 52 Airbuses and 20 ATRs (Arei de Transporto Regionale) or the ones you see as turbo-propelled planes that run on either shorter distances or smaller capacities.

Cebu Pacific is hopeful

Cebu Pacific is one of the four commercial airlines in the Philippines aside from Philippine Airlines, Air Asia (formerly Zest Air), and Skyjet.

The tourism industry relies heavily on commercial airlines and without reduced business transactions across the country, all commercial airlines will be hard-pressed to provide mobility for all passengers and goods relying on this form of transport.

Travel booking platform, Travel Book Philippines, Inc., has decided to cease operations after a three-year run. The Manila-based online travel agency (OTA) through its General Manager, Kevin Chandra, informed Crossroads Hostel Manila recently that it is ceasing its operations after regretfully admitting that its business is “no longer viable to sustain the company throughout the challenging period.” The challenging period mentioned was due to the increasing pressures brought about from job losses and after-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

travelbook_picture
Travelbook.ph opened its doors in 2017

The tourism and hospitality industry ground to a halt after the Philippine Government declared a lockdown on 14th March first in Metro Manila then two days later, the government declared the lockdown throughout the island of Luzon

Travelbook first invited Crossroads Hostel Manila to join its business in November of 2017. It signed up as one of its merchants in 2018. The hostel had its page on travelbook’s website and have customers book directly to Crossroads Hostel that can stay in the property with their help.

In Travelbook’s Facebook Page, the company describes their business as a, “… booking platform for people who are looking for exciting promos on hoe accommodations, tour packages, and in-land and boat transfers, as well as discounted deals on restaurants, buffets, spas, museums, and other activities to do in the Philippines.”

Bloggers pose with Travelbook.ph booth during its campaign

Crossroads Hostel and its management is sad that this company will go but Travelbook promises to come back after its sales supervisor, Lizette Marie Cruz (linkedin), had this to say about its return in the future, “May we bounce back after this (sic) trying times a hundred times stronger, not just the tourism industry but as a country as well.”

We look forward to it and Crossroads Hostel Manila will be here, waiting.

Book your bed directly to Crossroads Hostel Manila or you can check us out in Agoda, AirBnb, Booking, Expedia, and Traveloka.

In related news, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) says that the “current scenarios point to declines of 58% to 78% in international tourist arrivals for the year, depending on the speed of the containment and the duration of travel restrictions and shutdown of borders, although the outlook remains highly uncertain.” This puts the tourism industry stakeholders in a very precarious situation and one of the ways to survive this crisis is to continue to innovate and create ways to peak future travelers’ appetite in making their country, their place, their destination part of their next bucket-list.

“…foreign tourists, non-immigrant visa holders…will be turned back if they land in any of our ports of entry,”

Immigraton Commissioner, Jamie Morente

The BI chief issued the statement upon learning that immigration offices at the airports and other field offices of the Bureau were being swamped with calls and queries from persons who wrongly thought that the country has opened its doors to all foreigners.

He appealed to the public to stop spreading fake news that all foreigners are now welcome to enter the Philippines as it will only sow confusion, and create chaos in our airports if there is a sudden surge in the arrival of foreigners still covered by the travel ban.

Medina also stressed that foreigners married to Filipinos and their dependents, as well as foreign diplomats, can also come here as earlier resolved by the IATF.

“We are therefore advising the different airlines to take note of these latest travel guidelines so that they can accordingly inform their foreign customers who may wish to book their flights to the Philippines,” the BI official said.

The immigration bureau also issued guidelines 20 July 2020 (Facebook post) on what more should be learned with new restrictions on top of the one mentioned in this article. These are:

  • TEMPORARY ARRIVAL TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS – ‘only the following shall be allowed to enter the Philippines:
    • Filipinos, their foreign spouse and children of Filipino nationals (with documentary proof)
    • Accredited foreign government and international organization officials and their dependents
    • Foreign airline crew members and seafarers
      • (Beginning 01Aug2020, foreign nationals with long-term visas shall be allowed upon compliance with the four (4) IATF-EID conditions)
        1. Must have a valid and existing visa at the time of entry
        2. With pre-booked accredited quarantine facility;
        3. With pre-booked COVID-19 testing provider;
        4. Subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers as set by the National Task Force for COVID-19.
  • FOREIGN NATIONALS WITH THE FOLLOWING VISAS SHALL BE ALLOWED ENTRY IN THE PHILIPPINES, pursuant to IATF-EID Resolution No. 56 Series of 2020 dated 16 July 2020 beginning 01 August 2020:
    1. Section 13 Series visa [sec. 13; sec 13 (a);sec 13 (b);sec 13 (c);sec 13 (d);sec 13 (e); sec 13 (g)]
    2. RA 7919 Visa
    3. EO 324 Visa
    4. Native-born Visa
  • TEMPORARY DEPARTURE TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS — only the following shall be allowed to exit the Philippines:
    • Foreign nationals
    • Overseas Filipino workers*
    • Permanent visa holders*
    • Students enrolled abroad and participants accepted in exchange visitor programs*
      • Note: Beginning 22July2020, non-essential outbound travelers shall be allowed upon compliance with the 5 IATF-EID conditions
        1. Submission of confirmed round-trip tickers for those traveling on a tourist visa;
        2. Adequate travel and health insurance to cover rebooking and accommodation expenses if stranded, and hospitalization in case of infection, in such as may be determined by the Department of Tourism (DOT);
        3. Allowed entry by the destination country in accordance with their travel, health and quarantine restrictions;
        4. Execution of a Declaration acknowledging the risks involved in traveling, including risk of delay in their return trip, to b provided for in the check-in counters by the airlines; and
        5. Upon return, shall follow the Guidelines of Returning Overseas Filipinos of the National Task Force for COVID-19;

Book your loved ones with us, at CROSSROADS HOSTEL for quarantine purposes. It’s simple, easy, and we help all our guests go through the 4-day quarantine process. We’re accredited by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) through the Tourism Department (DOT). You can also chat with us if you have questions using Viber and WhatsApp with our number: +639478957600. Talk to you soon. Facebook? Talk to us!

News Source

Travelers can now use GCash when making a bed bookings and reservations with this hostel.

This convenience is now more pronounced than ever during community quarantine when contactless payment is a must for businesses dealing with customers.

Crossroads Hostel GCash QR Code

Scan to pay your stay at Crossroads Hostel Manila

How does it work? Prospect guests need only to ask how they will pay their reservations from Crossroads Hostel. Once the amount is requested to hold a reservation, guests can punch the amount on their GCash app and scan the QR code found above and immediately make the transaction to book their space in the hostel. The hostel will then finalize your reservations and a confirmation will be sent to your email.

Is GCash available ONLY to Globe subscribers and pre-paid customers? The service is available to all. Globe owns GCash but even if you’re a SMART subscriber, Talk N’ Text, or Sun subscribers, the GCash subscription is available to all. All you need to do is to click this link and you should be able to register for this service for free.

Start enjoying the convenience of booking a bed in Crossroads Hostel at the convenience of this available technology today.

Call Crossroads Hostel Manila at +63286327737 or +639478957600 to check space availability today or to get more information about this hostel at the center of Metro Manila!

AFTER THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT called off the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) to a much downgraded General Community Quarantine (GCQ), a deluge of inquiries from Facebook and text messages flooded Crossroads Hostel Manila. This after the said property launched an information campaign on social media. The campaign centered on informing front liners and healthcare workers of its viability to serve as a place to stay.

The hostel’s Facebook Page is lit up with numerous inquiries but it’s not what the owner initially expected it to be.

The calls were overwhelming as inquiries poured in mostly in the morning and late at night asking for details. “At any given day, we’re receiving and answering about 40-50 messages a day,” said Kristoffer Atienza who owns and manages the 30-bed property along with his wife, Malou. “Sadly, however, 90% of those inquiring are asking for short-time or overnight stay with their significant partners,” Atienza lamented after sharing that under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) those kinds of customers are not what the place is for.

Crossroads Hostel is a backpackers’ accommodation serving travelers across the country and in the region. But that was before the lockdown happened on March 15th.

“The Administrative Order (AO 2020-002) issued by the Tourism Department to accommodation establishments bar any guests checking-in to stay leisurely,” the owner explained as he also said that even without the AO, city ordinance bars hostels to welcome individuals staying in intentionally for only short periods of time.

From commentaries to inbox messages, there are a lot of interested parties asking for space.

“I mean, I welcome the business and the interest coming our way but we have to work honorably and Crossroads Hostel’s character is nothing like that. It was built on the premise that it would help budget travelers have an affordable place to stay in a very busy and very commercial area like Ortigas Center. I mean there are either 3-5-star hotels, there are motels, nothing in-between and that’s where we come in.” the owner shared as he went on to say that Crossroads Hostel is an alternative place to stay for budget travelers both locally and internationally but trust was given to it by the Department of Tourism (DOT) to serve only what the AO has stated. “It’s easy to pretend and say we’ll abide by the AO but on the other hands receive any customers we want throughout this community quarantine period but at what cost? There are already insurmountable challenges keeping the number down as far as COVID-19 cases are concerned, so there’s no value not keeping our word to the trust that was given us by the government agency” he said.

“It was a blessing that we have our DOT accreditation since 2016 and that’s why we keep functioning because the good men and women of the tourism board acted swiftly and with care giving properties like Crossroads Hostel, the opportunity to serve the country this way.” Atienza said.

Are they as afraid as the rest about getting infected by the infectious disease? “Oh yes we are,” he said, “and that’s why we’re super strict with our registration policies that a mere hint of sniffles or sight of the person sweating without proper reason or logic would make us turndown their booking even if they paid it through online travel agencies like hostelworld, booking, traveloka, and the likes.”

So what about the 90% that continues to inquire for Crossroads’ services that continuously get turned down?

“We’ll welcome it. I mean people will contact you, they made an effort and that’s already an opportunity to share what Crossroads is and what a hostel is. The opportunity is a win-win situation because the moment you share what your accommodation-business is, it’s in their messenger inbox for life and you give them the option of contacting you back knowing you have a decent place to stay in and an affordable price to complete the package,” the owner said.

Note: Balikbayans, OFWs, Front line workers, Healthcare workers, Government personnel, stranded passengers, and employees of companies offering essential services within 2-kilometer radius of the hostel are allowed to use and stay in Crossroads as it may deem necessary.