By Ric Obedencio | 11:32 AM August 06, 2022

Tour van drivers are over pricing their commissions from All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) operations in Carmen town, where the Chocolate Hills are situated, according to ATV operator.

“There are tourist drivers with their partner canvassers that have been overpricing tour package fees without restrictions since before the pandemic until the present time,” according to ATV operator’s report received by neophyte Provincial Board Member Greg Jala (3rd district), who delivered a privilege speech during the session of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan recently.

The van drivers “are demanding exorbitant commissions from tourist spot operators, or else” if the latter don’t agree to the demand, the former (drivers) will not bring tourists and exclude the said operation from their itinerary.

“This arrangement between tourist drivers and tourist spots operators has been the system since during the time when tourist spots were yet flourishing in the Province of Bohol.’

In one hour of ATV ride for P1,200.00/tourist, (five hundred) P500.00 goes to the driver and P100.00 to local government unit (LGU). Only P600 left for us, the operator said and this has been going on since 2017.

In Bilar town, where the Tarsier is also a come-on, tour drivers get 50% of the P100.00/tourist for entrance fee.

Jala quoted the operator as saying that this happens “due to unhealthy competition and lack of regulations.”

The operator said that the tour drivers have been paid by the van owners and even get “tips” from their passenger/guests and still demand for exorbitant commissions from operators.

What’s left for them (operators) to make their business afloat and improve their services, the operator lamented.

Another racket is the so-called “Bingo commission” which means that when drivers bring six guests, they get 1,000/guest. The operator said that they propose for ten guests but the drivers refused that resulted to no tourist being brought to the ATV operations.

“We pray nga kon mahimo, wad-on nalang kining commission sa mga drivers aron mamahimong Tourist-friendly ang price rate/guest, pareho sa ubang ATV Rides nga mga Tourist Destinations sa Pilipinas.” (If possible abolish this commission for the drivers to make rates tourist-friendly).

Jala told his colleagues that “Bohol has been known as among the most expensive tourist destinations in the country,” apparently due to the overpriced foods and services.

Panglao councilor JR Rodriguez also described Bohol as the most expensive in the country.

His comments to media interview surfaced following the overpriced food serve at the sandbar (Virgin island) in this town recently.

Jala made a motion to refer this to the tourism committee. (rvo)

By Bohol Island News

Your reliable source of news and content in the island and the rest of Central Visayas and Mindanao.

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