Macalintal sues hotel for denying senior citizen's discount

Posted at 06/04/2014 12:43 PM | Updated as of 06/04/2014 7:56 PM

MANILA - Lawyer Romulo Macalintal has sued the five-star Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City for allegedly denying him his 20 percent senior citizen’s discount.

The 67-year-old Macalintal explained he used his Sofitel Accor Advantage card, which provides as much as 50 percent discount on food and drinks. He said he pays P8,800 a year for the card.

While the hotel restaurant there gave him a 50 percent discount as a member of the privilege group, it did not give him his additional 20 percent discount for being a senior citizen.

In an interview with radio dzMM, Macalintal explained: "The 20 percent should be on top of the 50 percent discount. They said the 20 percent is already included in the 50 percent. It seems they were the ones who enjoyed my senior citizen’s discount."

He cited the terms and conditions of Accor, which says “nothing in these Terms excludes, limits, modifies or restricts any right or remedy, or any guarantee, warranty or other term or condition implied or imposed by any legislation which cannot lawfully be excluded or limited.”

A complaint has already been filed at the Pasay City prosecutors’ office.

Sofitel lawyer Edwardson Ong said they have yet to see the complaint, although he said they were already sent summons.

“I have yet to verify the complaint before we can comment,” he said in a phone interview. He said Sofitel has just received the subpoena.

The complainant and the respondents are required to appear at the fiscal’s office on June 9.

Macalintal said he is not doing this for publicity and the money.

“Had I wanted these, I would have filed a civil case. My complaint is criminal in nature.”

He warned that many cases have been won against violators of senior citizens’ rights.

In fact, a complaint can be lodged at the mayor’s office, he said. He explained that if an establishment was found to have violated a person’s rights, the mayor can have it closed.

He also urged other senior citizens to insist on their rights.

“Ask for the [Department of Trade and Industry] approval of their promos. If there is none, the establishment is therefore selling at the regular price, then you are entitled to your 20 percent discount,” he said.

He also said a senior citizen can choose to use his discount if the promo price does not give the better deal. “If the promo price is small, you can ask for the regular price instead and use your senior citizens’ discount.”

Macalintal earlier filed similar criminal complaints against Café Mediterranean and Black Canyon Coffee in SM Southmall after both failed to recognize his driver’s license as proof of his being a senior citizen.

The two establishments later apologized and agreed to donate money to home-for-the-aged institutions.

Macalintal has since dropped the complaints.