Manila takes over Grand Boulevard Hotel

MANILA, Philippines – The Manila City government on Monday took custody of the Grand Boulevard Hotel in Manila due to an almost P300-million worth of unpaid taxes that has accumulated for a decade.

QTV’s Balitanghali, however, said city hall officials who were planning to inspect the hotel’s condition failed to enter the building since all its door’s were padlocked.

The hotel, owned by Jose Panlilio, stopped its operations on July 9.

GMA News’ Joseph Morong reported that the owners of the luxury hotel have been unable to pay a number of government fees and taxes since 1998 amounting to P254 million.

A radio report quoted Cholo Noriega, liaison officer of the city hall’s Business Permit and Licensing Offices, as saying that the total amount included among others, unpaid real property taxes, business permits, and other permit fees.

Local government officials said they were puzzled how the hotel was able to operate for 10 years despite failing to pay necessary taxes.

“Every time mag-hi-hearing sa court, sinasabi nila (hotel management) na magbabayad sila ng taxes. Sinabi na nga ng judge na kung talagang sincere kayo, sige magbayad kayo. Eh every time, wala naman,” said lawyer Renato dela Cruz of the Manila City Hall’s Legal Counsel Office.

(Every time that there would be a court hearing, the management would tell that they would pay corresponding taxes…yet there had been no payment.)

“This has been going on like a broken record,” Dela Cruz added.

The reports said city officials would auction off the property if the hotel’s owner fails to settle his accounts with the government by March 2009.

GMA News tried but failed to reach the Panlilios for comment.

Mark Merueñas
GMANews.TV

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