Mayor orders Virgin Island temporarily closed due alleged overpriced food to tourists
Trips to Virgin Island in Panglao will temporarily be suspended while the local government investigates reports of overpriced food being sold to tourists.
In an interview with Teleradyo Wednesday, Panglao Mayor Edgardo Arcay said he visited the island to confirm the issue with food vendors.
“When I went home from the island, we had a meeting in the municipal council together with the Tourism department, DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources), and DOH (Department of Health. We decided to have a temporary closure because we will have a consultative meeting with vendors,” Arcay said.
Upon investigation, vendors denied selling overpriced food but he discovered that they raised the price so they could give a commission to the boatman, he told Teleradyo.
“They did not admit it but I saw that it was expensive because they said (the tourists) ate a lot. There were 20 people, including the boatman. But the results of the probe show that they had to give the boatman a commission, so they increased the price a bit,” he said.
“There were 13 tourists who went to Virgin Island who mentioned that the seafood was expensive,” he added.
Arcay said he planned to meet with vendors and tourism officials so there could be a “win-win solution” for them.
“I don't want to eliminate the source of income for the people around to ensure sustainability of their livelihood but it must be balanced,” he said.
On Tuesday, Bohol Gov. Aris Aumentado issued an order suspending boat trips to Panglao’s Virgin Island to probe the supposed overpriced seafood sold in the area.
This came after a post showing that a group of tourists paid more than P26,000 for a meal on the island became viral. Jaspearl Tan/DMS