Amid the impending 100 percent surge of entrance fee at the Chocolate Hills Complex in Carmen, another top tourist destination, the Loboc River Cruise, on Sunday started to charge an additional P100 for food and trip on floating restaurants.
The increase raised the entrance fee for the fluvial restaurants at the Loboc River to P550 from P450, Loboc Municipal Tourism Officer Elmer Varquez told the Chronicle on Monday.
According to Varquez, the local government unit had no direct hand in the implementation of the fee increase.
The amount was agreed upon by boat operators and administrators of the commissary, which serves all 19 floating restaurants, through a series of meetings.
“They upgraded their food and through a directive from the LGU for standardization of number of employees, the number of personnel was raised from 150 to at least 250,” Varquez said in Cebuano.
The Loboc River Cruise commissary has also employed a chef to oversee food preparations for the hundreds of tourists who board and eat at the restaurants each month.
“The breakdown for the fee is P225 for river cruise with entertainment, P225 for food, and the P100 is for the maintenance, safety and security fee which is for the LGU,” he added.
The 19 floating restaurants that ply the Loboc River are divided and owned by four different operators namely: Lourdes Sultan of Village Floating Resto and Cruises, Mary Jo Varquez of Busay Monarch, Sonia Balbido of Long River Cruise Floating Resto and Tessie Labunog-Sumampong of Loboc Riverwatch Floating Resto.
In September, the Loboc River Cruise drew 769 tourists, mostly Koreans, according to the latest data released by officials.
According to Varquez, no comments and negative reactions have so far been raised against the fee increase.
Meanwhile, in Carmen, the planned entrance fee increase from P50 to P100 for the Chocolate Hills Complex has been met with strong opposition from the public.
Hundreds of comments against the move were posted by netizens through the Facebook pages of The Bohol Chronicle and station dyRD.
The fee increase which is mandated by an ordinance passed in 2014 is set to be implemented by the Carmen LGU on the first day of 2018. (Rey Tutas)