Macau's Inter-departmental Working Group Against
Illegal Guesthouses launched a promotional campaign on Wednesday
to raise the awareness of residents and visitors of the potential
hazards of staying in illegal accommodation.
The campaign launched by the Working Group,
includes posters distribution and a reinforcing Tourism Hotline
28333000 for people to report any illegal accommodation.
As of June 24, 2009, the
Working Group had carried out 28 joint inspections to combat
illegal accommodation. Among the 162 apartments involved, the
Working Group could not gain access to 117 apartments while 23
cases were recorded for legal action and 22 were proven to be
The involved departments said that the
major obstacle for the inspections was the difficulty to gain
access to the suspected apartments. Furthermore, inadequate legal
backing and authority to follow up directly with the
irregularities were also difficulties encountered by the Working Group.
Without relevant legal support, the departments were not able to
prosecute irregularities that are hazardous to personal and
property safety, public health and hygiene, fire safety and
environmental conditions detected on site.
Government Tourist Office (MGTO) and related departments are
working on the amendment of the Decree Law No. 16/96/M (regulation
applicable to hotels and similar activities). Amendments to the
regulations include, among other clauses, the establishment of a
category of illegal activities to characterize illegal
accommodation, authorizing inspectors access to the "suspected
apartments", defining the responsible person who should answer for
and bear charges for the irregularities.
Members of the Inter-departmental
Working Group Against "Illegal Guesthouses" include the Cabinet of
the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Macau Government
Tourist Office, Public Security Police Force, Land, Public Works
and Transport Bureau, Legal Affairs Bureau, Financial Service
Bureau, Labor Affairs Bureau, Macau Trade and Investment Promotion
Institute, Fire Service Bureau, Health Bureau, Civic and Municipal
Affairs Bureau and Environmental Protection Bureau.
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