Overpriced food in Virgin’s Island assailed

CEBU CITY -- Bohol Governor Aris Aumentado expressed dismay over reports of overpriced food that were sold in the province Virgin’s Island.

In a post on his official Facebook account on Tuesday, August 2, Aumentado ordered an investigation after a group of tourists complained of overpriced food being sold in the island.

“Apil ta na alibango ug na dismaya isip amahan sa probinsya (I am one of those who got dismayed as the father of the province),” Aumentado said.

A photo of what looked like a food price list of what was sold on the island has gone viral on social media. The photo was posted by a woman who recently visited the island.

The photo showed that the group paid P26,100 for the food that they ordered.

The food included Abalone for P2,500, ‘tinolang isda’ for P1,800, ‘kinilaw na isda’ for P3,000, ‘sinugba'ng isda' for P2,500, scallops for P3,000, oyster (P3,000), squid (P2,500), ‘lato’’ (P800), baby squid (P1,500), sea urchin (P2,300), banana (P900), softdrinks (P1,300), and beer (P1,000).

Aumentado asked the Provincial Board to come up with ordinances and other policies to regulate the province’s tourism industry and protect consumers’ welfare.

“Atong hatagan ug insaktong serbisyo ug angayan panggaon nato ang mga tourista isip atong bisita kay sila ang gahatag ug panginabuhian nato (Let us afford good service and let us take care our tourists as guests because they are the ones who are giving us livelihood),” said Aumentado.

Aumentado said the provincial government will be conducting an emergency meeting with local officials in Panglao, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and stakeholders to discuss other measures that would improve the province’s tourism industry.

The DENR-Central Visayas (DENR 7) will also investigate the incident.

“DENR 7 is currently investigating the excessive charging of food meals by vendors in Virgin Island in Panglao, Bohol after the issue circulated on social media,” Paquito Melicor Jr., regional executive director of DENR 7, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Melicor said the island is within the Panglao Island Protected Seascape, which is created pursuant to Republic Act 11038 or the Expanded National Integrated Protected Area System Law.