Lapu-Lapu mayor tells owners to make resorts ‘haven’ for PWDs, senior citizens

Ryan Macasero
Lapu-Lapu mayor tells owners to make resorts ‘haven’ for PWDs, senior citizens

LAPU-LAPU MAYOR. Ahong Chan addresses his constituents in this file photo

Lapu-Lapu City Public Information Office

Following an incident at Plantation Bay resort, Mayor Ahong Chan asks resorts to make sure all establishments are inclusive to persons with disabilities, senior citizens, and special needs children

Resorts in Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu should be a “havens” for persons with disabilities and senior citizens, Mayor Ahong Chan said in a statement on Thursday, December 10.

Chan said: “As a tourist-friendly resort city, I’m reminding all the hotels and resorts to make your property a haven for everybody, especially seniors and persons with disabilities.”

The mayor’s statement follows an incident at the Plantation Bay resort in Lapu-Lapu, where the hotel staff reprimanded a mother and child with autism for allegedly making too much noise at the resort. 

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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

Chan said: “This incident is an eye-opener to the city,”

Chan said he was “saddened” by the incident that happened in what he described as the “biggest” resort in Mactan Island.

“Every side had a point but my office is open to listen to their stories while the investigation of the Department of Tourism (DOT) is ongoing,” the mayor said in Cebuano.

The DOT said in a statement on Wednesday it would conduct an investigation with the Department of Justice if the resort violated the Magna Carta for Persons with Disabilities, Republic Act No. 7277

Chan said that he was looking at how to make Lapu-Lapu City – home to hundreds of resorts – “inclusive for senior citizens, persons with disabilities and children with special needs.”

The story of the mother and child went viral on social media after Mai Pages recounted in a Facebook post how she and her son were treated. On the travel site TripAdvisor, she gave the resort a one-star rating.

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

The resort’s owner Manny Gonzalez placed a harsh response to the mom’s review on TripAdvisor, saying “shouting” was not a “symptom” of autism.

Gonzalez later posted a letter on the company’s social media account apologizing for his reply on Trip Advisor.

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

“Aside from a children’s playground or playroom, let’s make a room intended for them where they can relax, freely express their emotions, play or mingle with others and enjoy the place as if they’re in a paradise,” Chan said. “Let’s not forget they, too, are paying guests and deserve that perfect and unforgettable vacation.” –

Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers Cebu and the Visayas for Rappler. He covers all news in the region, but is particularly interested in people stories, development issues and local policy making.