Bohol government suspends trips to Virgin Island amid ‘overpriced’ seafood sale

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 3) – Bohol Governor Aris Aumentado has ordered a temporary suspension of travel to the Virgin Island of Panglao after alleged seafood overselling in the area went viral online.

Aumentado on Tuesday expressed dismay at the incident, which came to light after a viral Facebook post showed a tour group were charged over ₱26,000 for the seafood they ordered .

“We are grateful to social media as it gave us a solid reason for Sangguniang Panlalawigan to come up with resolutions or ordinances that can protect and order tourists who have been exploited for a long time by some businessmen in Panglao and in other cities,” the governor said in his own social media post.

The Region 7 office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) released a statement on Tuesday saying it was also investigating overcharging for food meals.

The DENR regional office added that it was also coordinating the investigation with the Panglao Island Protected Seascape (PIPS) Protected Area Management Board.

Virgin Island is part of PIPS, which was established under Republic Act No. 11038 or the expanded National Integrated Systems of Protected Areas Act.

Meanwhile, Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said her office was coordinating with the Department of Trade and Industry to establish reasonable pricing standards on the provision of tourism goods and services in response to the incident. .

“While the DOT understands the current predicament and challenges facing many tourism-related businesses and establishments as they gradually recoup losses from previously imposed travel restrictions, I believe that one should always be cautious about the experience. of tourists, whether it is to respect the quality of accommodation, the achievement of a certain level of service or the guarantee of a reasonable price for the products, “said Frasco in its press release published on Tuesday evening. .

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Tanya S. Norvell