Department of Tourism

DOT to investigate Plantation Bay resort for discriminating against child with autism

Ryan Macasero
DOT to investigate Plantation Bay resort for discriminating against child with autism

Plantation Bay Resort and Spa Facebook page/Department of Tourism logo

Discrimination against persons with special needs goes against the Magna Carta for Persons with Disabilities

The Department of Tourism (DOT) will investigate an incident a mother and child with autism were reprimanded by staff of the Plantation Bay resort in Cebu for allegedly making too much noise. 

The DOT said in a press statement on Wednesday, December 9, it already began investigating the incident and will “mete the proper administrative sanctions to the resort.”

Discrimination against persons with disabilities is illegal under Republic Act No. 7277, or the Magna Carta for Persons with Disabilities.

If found guilty of violating the law, the individual or company accused could face fines from P50,000 to P100,000 depending on the number of violations, and prison terms from 6 months up to 6 years

The tourism department also said they would coordinate with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate the resort if it violated the law.

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Plantation Bay resort in Cebu reprimands mother and child with autism

Plantation Bay resort in Cebu reprimands mother and child with autism

Mai Pages, from Cebu City, shared the story on Facebook post and on travel site TripAdvisor, where she gave the resort a one-star rating. 

She said that the resort staff reprimanded her for her child’s noise even as she explained that her son had special needs.

In his initial response to Pages on TripAdvisor, which has been taken down and replaced by an updated statement, resort owner Manny Gonzalez said that “uncontrolled shouting is not a symptom of autism.”

He later posted an apology letter for his response on Plantation Bay’s Facebook account.

A statement posted by the Autism Society of the Philippines said Gonzalez’s response was “ignorant of what the autism spectrum is.” – Rappler.com

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Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers social welfare for Rappler. He started at Rappler as social media producer in 2013, and later took on various roles for the company: editor for the #BalikBayan section, correspondent in Cebu, and general assignments reporter in the Visayas region. He graduated from California State University, East Bay, with a degree in international studies and a minor in political science. Outside of work, Ryan performs spoken word poetry and loves attending local music gigs. Follow him on Twitter @ryanmacasero or drop him leads for stories at ryan.macasero@rappler.com