MMDA hikes rate for use of ‘Gwapotel’

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Monday, February 1, 2010

TRANSIENTS at the workers inn or popularly known as the “Gwapotel” will have to pay more starting today (February 1) for their temporary stay in the facility operated by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

MMDA General Manager Robert Nacianceno said a 10-hour stay in the inn, now dubbed the PGMA-MMDA worker’s inn will now cost P30 or a five-peso increase from the previous rate.

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“Starting today, we are informing the public that P30 will be collected from them for a 10-hour stay in the workers’ inn including the use of bathroom,” Nacianceno said.

The agency said the additional amount will cover expenses incurred in the maintenance of the facility.

At the same time, the official said the rate is still reasonable considering that those who patronized the facility have to spend for transportation expenses.

The first "Gwapotel" inn along Bonifacio Drive in Port Area, Manila was a joint venture between the MMDA and the National Power Corporation (Napocor).

Generating an income of about P400,000 to P500,000 a month, the 710-bed facility posts an average occupancy rate of 73 percent or 519 guests daily since its inauguration in 2007.

The second “Gwapotel” is a renovated building, formerly Emmanuel Hospital, located at Jose Abad Santos Avenue in Tondo, Manila.

The MMDA spent P10.7 million for the renovation.

It features amenities one normally finds in an economy class airline including piped-in air-conditioned bedroom with three-deck capsular beds.

Close circuit television cameras are installed on each floor of the building to ensure the safety of the guests.

Likewise, each floor has a TV set, electric fans for ventilation, security cameras, and beds for up to 200 guests. As many as six guards are on duty at any given time.

Students, ordinary workers, vendors, small entrepreneurs, white collar-job employees and other transients from the provinces who are doing business in Metro Manila have flocked to the worker’s inn because they could not find an affordable, clean, safe, and decent place to stay elsewhere.

Earlier, the MMDA urged local government units to take a cue from the agency for its shelter innovations and not wait for the National Government to provide solution, saying it is the most practical idea to deal with the problem of temporary place for transients and even informal settlers.

Such facilities could also be utilized as temporary evacuation centers by local government units in times of typhoons and other calamities, the agency added. (AH/Sunnex)

Mmda hikes rate use ‘gwapotel’

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