The tourism council of Panglao Island in the province of Bohol called on its local government to temporarily ban the sale of food at the tourist spot Virgin Island after a complaint went viral online showing a bill of P26,100 for meals for a group of 13 people.
“The council recommends for the continuance of the island-hopping operations of boats provided that such activity shall be limited only for sightseeing,” said the statement of the Panglao Municipal Tourism Council on Wednesday, August 3.
Virgin Island is a small sandbar off of Panglao, where tourists can go as part of island-hopping packages.
A post by a certain Vilma Uy claimed that she and her group were charged P26,100 by a vendor for food such as tinolang isda, kinilaw’ng isda, sinugbang isda, scallops, oyster, squid, lato, baby squid, sea urchin, bananas, soft drinks, and beer.
The post has over 17,000 shares as of this writing.
Department of Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco also called for an investigation into the alleged overpricing of food.
“The Island being within the jurisdiction of the Local Government Units of the Province of Bohol and the Municipality of Panglao, my office has been in touch with the LGUs, and I thank Governor Aris Aumentado and Mayor Boy Arcay for immediately initiating an investigation into this matter, and taking initial steps at regulation,” Frasco said in her statement.
To help the vendors who will be displaced by the ban, the council proposed setting up a night market where they could sell their food products.
Aumentado temporarily banned banca trips to the island pending an investigation and emergency meeting on the situation.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources Central Visayas (DENR-7) called for a separate investigation and asked the local governments of Panglao and Bohol to submit its recommendations by Wednesday, August 3. – Rappler.com