The alleged overpricing of seafood by vendors in Virgin Island, Panglao, Bohol is a matter that the Department of Tourism (DOT) takes seriously especially as it concerns the welfare of tourists whose continued support for our destinations is critical to the recovery of the tourism industry.
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.
We are also coordinating with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) as it is imperative that reasonable pricing standards are upheld for purposes of consumer protection. Our Regional Office is also coordinating with the LGUs to provide guidance on standards for the provision of tourist goods and services, and we will extend trainings to the frontline tourism workers and stakeholders involved to safeguard the overall tourist experience in the Island.
While the DOT understands the current predicament and challenges faced by many tourism-related businesses and establishments that are gradually recouping losses due to previously imposed travel restrictions, I believe that due care must always be given to the overall experience of tourists whether it concerns upholding the quality of accommodations, attaining a certain level of service, or ensuring the reasonable pricing of products.
Tourism is a shared responsibility, and it is in helping each other along this period of recovery that we can fully enjoy the benefits that tourism brings.