Standard food prices in Bohol tourist spots mulled

Tourism Secretary Maria Cristina Frasco said she has already directed the formation of a technical working group that will discuss measures to implement the calibration of prices of goods and food items in Bohol Province, following the apparent incident of food overcharging at the infamous Virgin Island in the Municipality of Panglao that went viral in social media.

“From our end, from the Department of Tourism (DoT), I have directed the formation of a technical working group composed of various agencies of government for purposes of discussing the implementation of standards, including the standardization of pricing of goods in this destination,” Frasco said in an interview yesterday.

Earlier this week, a Facebook post went viral after a netizen posted a bill totaling P26,000 from their order of seafood and drinks for 13 people.

Frasco immediately issued a statement and said the alleged overpricing of seafood by vendors in Virgin Island, Panglao, Bohol is a matter that the DoT takes seriously, especially as it concerns the welfare of tourists whose continued support for the country’s tourist destinations is critical to the recovery of the tourism industry.

She added that they are already coordinating with the Department of Trade and Industry “as it is imperative that reasonable pricing standards are upheld for purposes of consumer protection.”

“We are facilitating discussions among the government agencies so that we can come up with a proactive solution to ensure that overall tourist experience in these destinations is really upheld,” she added.

With this, Frasco said she also wanted tourism stakeholders to undergo training to improve the service they offer tourists.

“That is why we’re very optimistic that with these collaborative efforts that we are doing, both intergovernmental, with the LGU, as well as with our stakeholders, in the end, we will see an improvement as far as the overall tourist experience in our destinations, including the one in Bohol,” she stressed.

The local government of Panglao has already ordered the temporary closure of the Virgin Island following the incident.

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