Standard food prices in tourist spots pushed

MANILA, Philippines — Amid allegations of overpriced food being served in Virgin Island in Panglao, Bohol, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said the price of goods in tourist destinations should be standardized.

In a statement, DOT Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco said the department would create a technical working group with the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Agriculture and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources as members to come up with the needed policy.

She said quality tourism services should include pricing standards.

Frasco stressed the need to strengthen the capacity of micro-entrepreneurs, such as food vendors, to provide quality tourism services.

She said the DOT would also provide training, through the Filipino Brand of Service Excellence program, on how to treat tourists and handle their concerns and complaints.

“The training for the tourism community in Virgin Island will begin next week,” the DOT chief said.

The Panglao municipal government suspended the operations of food establishments in Virgin Island following complaints on expensive food.

Bohol Gov. Aris Aumentado suspended boat trips to the island pending the result of the investigation into the allegations.

A group of 13 tourists was charged P26,100 for seafood, including oysters, sea urchin and scallops and drinks ordered in one meal. A photo of the handwritten bill has gone viral on social media.

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