Under the law, the hotel-keeper cannot free himself from responsibility by posting notices to the effect that he is not liable for the articles brought by the guest. Any stipulation between the hotel-keeper and the guest whereby the responsibility of the former as set forth in Articles 1998 to 2001 is suppressed or diminished shall be void. (Art. 2003, NCC).
Article 2003 was incorporated in the New Civil Code as an expression of public policy precisely. The hotel business like the common carrier’s business is imbued with public interest. Catering to the public, hotel-keepers are bound to provide not only lodging for hotel guests and security to their persons and belongings. The twin duty constitutes the essence of the business. The law in turn does not allow such duty to the public to be negated or diluted by any contrary stipulation in so-called “undertakings” that ordinarily appear in prepared forms imposed by hotel-keepers on guests for their signature. (YHT Realty Corp. v. CA, et al., G.R. No. 126780, February 17, 2005).